We want two-tone!!!! We want two-tone!!!!

8 06 2013

I’d be underplaying things if I said that people were rather dismissive of Vincent Tan’s two-tone kit last week, people found the kit repulsive, yes people actually said it was repulsive.

The word “repulsive” would have been acceptable if it’s use had been limited to a description Vincent Tan’s 12 month ego trip however it appeared as though people found the very idea of a two-tone kit to be repulsive. This not only saddened me, it offended me. How could people jettison the past so quickly? Two-tone kits were the lifeblood of football in the 1980s.

Just hearing the phrase “two-tone kit” sets me off on a nostalgic bent like a twattish talking head on one of those “Weren’t the 1980s ace!!!! OPEL FRUITS ARE NOW CALLED STARBURST!!! I MEAN WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT!!!” programmes.

The 1980s……………..Mmmmmm ………….Two-tone kits………..Shiny Shorts…………Steve Foster’s headband………Erwin Koeman’s mullet……….. Ian Rush’s Moustache……………………shiny shorts………..

(Don’t worry, when this happens I refuse to use that “I’m considerably better than you” comedian tone of voice.)

The 1980s were all about the two-tone kit. Tell me oh offended ones, do the following kits look repulsive? (Sheffield Wednesday’s away kit doesn’t count, it’s there for purely illustrative purposes)





All “Continetal” goalkeepers had two-tone kits in the 1980s. Did they look repulsive?

Van Breukelen BLUE

Pfaff yellow

Steua Keeper

Barcelona even made a habit of wearing a two-tone kit in European finals. Did Laudrup and Lineker look repulsive?

Barcelona 3

Gary Lineker of Barcelona

Barcelona 1

While I was researching this piece on google images I was reminded of a kit design rule of yesteryear, the golden rule of kit design of yesteryear if you will; between 1976 and 1996 all yellow kits had to be two-tone.

So offended ones, do any of the following kits look repulsive? (Arsenal’s away kit doesn’t count, it’s there for purely illustrative purposes.)


Arsenal 1

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Tottenham Hotspur v Queens Park Rangers

birmingham city

Soccer - European Cup - Semi Final Second Leg - Ajax v Nottingham Forest



leeds 2

Chelsea tried a self-tone combo one season but the rebellion didn’t last, the designer was drummed out of the Guild of Master Kit Designers.

chelsea 2

I must part with the truth at this point. As with all great designs, two-tone kits were as much about luck as bold design. Two-tone kits were an unseen by-product of the kit making process. As you can see from the next two photos the magic happened because the shorts were made from a shinier man-made fabric than the shirt.



I think you’ll agree that serendipity cannot mask the fact that two-tone kits are intrinsically fabulous.

Unfortunately the whiff of amateur charm that clung to two-tone kits was eliminated by bland standardisation’s dry-cleaning. The two-tone kit in the dustbin of history with “Football Pundit Calmness” and “Sponsor-free dugout seats“. Another quirk long gone, another part of football’s soul dead. I hate modern football.




2 responses

8 06 2013
The Lone Reader Blog

Why should people be angry about the two-tone and not angry at the fact that the kit is in an entirely different colour than the one worn for over a 100 years? The stupidity of the football fan.

8 06 2013
Welsh not British (@welshnotbritish)

I think the worst culprit was Brucie Grobelaar. His sickly green face at not losing a match he’d been paid off to lose was a different shade of green to his green top.

And when did keepers stop wearing green. AMF!

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