Blackburn Rovers: Glorious legacy, winning identity: Kit History

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BLUE 'N' WHITE HALVES.

Once upon a time, in the early days of football, halved shirts were as common as moustaches. In fact, come to think of it, they still are as common as moustaches as only one club still regularly plays in halves, and that club is, of course, Blackburn Rovers.

 

The side’s original 1875 shirt was in fact plain white. Their first halved shirt, a navy and white combination, arrived three years later. Lighter blue and white versions were worn until 1905 when the regular Blackburn kit of royal blue and white halved shirts, white shorts and blue socks emerged. Traditionally the club also sported halved contrasting sleeve and neck designs.

 

Give or take the odd change to white socks and the very occasional reversal of the coloured halves (generally the blue half sits over the heart), the kit essentially remained the same for the next 70 years until red began to creep its way on to the design in 1975. Since then the outfit has gone through many subtle alterations but the famous halves still remain intact.

 

Yellow and blue shirts or red and white shirts are the club’s traditional away colours of choice although red and black striped shirts have also been popular since the 1990's.

Blackburn Rovers: 1928. FA Cup Final winners shirt.

Blackburn Rovers: 1960's.

Blackburn Rovers: 1974-1975. Centenary year shirt.

Blackburn Rovers:1978 - 1981.

Eventful times. Rovers relegated 78-79 to Division 3 with Ron Pickering as Manager; promoted to Division 2 79-80 and narrowly missed out on promotion by GD in 80-81 with Howard Kendal as Player Manager
Eventful times. Rovers relegated 78-79 to Division 3 with Ron Pickering as Manager; promoted to Division 2 79-80 and narrowly missed out on promotion by GD in 80-81 with Howard Kendal as Player Manager

Blackburn Rovers: 1981-1984

Blackburn Rovers Away Shirt: 1986-1987

Worn when the side finished 12th place in the Second Division under boss Don Mackay.
Worn when the side finished 12th place in the Second Division under boss Don Mackay.

Blackburn Rovers: 1990-1991

Worn when the side battled to a 19th place finish in the Second Division in Jack Walker's first season as chairman.
Worn when the side battled to a 19th place finish in the Second Division in Jack Walker's first season as chairman.

Blackburn Rovers: 1991-1992

Worn during the promotion season to the Premier League. After beating Leicester City in the Division 2 Play-Off Final, as Rovers had played in yellow that day they donned the Blue 'n' White halves before climbing the steps to the Royal Box for the trophy.
Worn during the promotion season to the Premier League. After beating Leicester City in the Division 2 Play-Off Final, as Rovers had played in yellow that day they donned the Blue 'n' White halves before climbing the steps to the Royal Box for the trophy.

Blackburn Rovers Away shirt: 1991-1992

Away shirt and the first to feature the McEwans Lager sponsor. Worn when the side won promotion to the Premier League after beating Leicester City in the Division 2 Play-Off Final at Wembley in Kenny Dalglish's first season in charge.
Away shirt and the first to feature the McEwans Lager sponsor. Worn when the side won promotion to the Premier League after beating Leicester City in the Division 2 Play-Off Final at Wembley in Kenny Dalglish's first season in charge.

Blackburn Rovers: 1992-1994. Inaugural Premier League Shirt.

Worn in the first Premier League season which saw Rovers back in top flight football for the first time in 30 years, having a memorable season finishing 4th and hammering Norwich 7-1 early on in the season
Worn in the first Premier League season which saw Rovers back in top flight football for the first time in 30 years, having a memorable season finishing 4th and hammering Norwich 7-1 early on in the season

Blackburn Rovers: 1992-1994. Inaugural Premier League Away Shirt

Kenny Dalglish's exciting outfit finished in an impressive 4th place and reached the Semi Finals of the League Cup and Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.
Kenny Dalglish's exciting outfit finished in an impressive 4th place and reached the Semi Finals of the League Cup and Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.

Blackburn Rovers: 1994-1995. Premier League Champions Shirt

Worn when Rovers famously won the Premier League title.
Worn when Rovers famously won the Premier League title.

Blackburn Rovers: 1994-1995. Premier League Champions Away Shirt

Classic design away shirt as during Rovers Premiership title winning season.
Classic design away shirt as during Rovers Premiership title winning season.

Blackburn Rovers Away Shirt: 1995-1996.

Worn when Rovers were reigning Premier League Champions and in the infamous bust-up between Le Saux and Batty away in the Champions League.
Worn when Rovers were reigning Premier League Champions and in the infamous bust-up between Le Saux and Batty away in the Champions League.

Blackburn Rovers: 1996-1998

Worn as Rovers recovered from the departure of Alan Shearer to qualify for the UEFA Cup.
Worn as Rovers recovered from the departure of Alan Shearer to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Blackburn Rovers Away Shirt: 1997-1998

Worn when Roy Hodgson took over as manager and the side finished 6th in the Premier League.
Worn when Roy Hodgson took over as manager and the side finished 6th in the Premier League.

Blackburn Rovers: 1998-2000

Worn when Rovers were relegated from the Premier League.
Worn when Rovers were relegated from the Premier League.

Blackburn Rovers Away Shirt: 1998-2000

Worn when Rovers were relegated from the Premier League.
Worn when Rovers were relegated from the Premier League.

Blackburn Rovers: 2000-2002

Worn by the side as they achieved promotion back to the Premier League from Division 1 and then as they won the League Cup at the Millenium Stadium in Wales, beating Tottenham Hotspurs 2-1.
Worn by the side as they achieved promotion back to the Premier League from Division 1 and then as they won the League Cup at the Millenium Stadium in Wales, beating Tottenham Hotspurs 2-1.

Blackburn Rovers Away shirt: 2000-2002

Worn by the side as they achieved promotion back to the Premier League from Division 1.
Worn by the side as they achieved promotion back to the Premier League from Division 1.

Blackburn Rovers: 2004-2005.

Worn when the side finished in 15th place in boss Mark Hughes' first season in charge. They also reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup, losing out to Arsenal.
Worn when the side finished in 15th place in boss Mark Hughes' first season in charge. They also reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup, losing out to Arsenal.

Blackburn Rovers: 2005-2006

Worn when the side qualified for the UEFA Cup with an impressive 6th place finish in the Premier League under Manager Mark Hughes.
Worn when the side qualified for the UEFA Cup with an impressive 6th place finish in the Premier League under Manager Mark Hughes.

Blackburn Rovers: 2007-2008

Worn when Rovers finished a respectable 7th thanks to the great strike partnership of Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy.
Worn when Rovers finished a respectable 7th thanks to the great strike partnership of Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy.

Blackburn Rovers Away shirt: 2007-2008

Worn when Rovers finished a respectable 7th thanks to the great strike partnership of Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy.
Worn when Rovers finished a respectable 7th thanks to the great strike partnership of Roque Santa Cruz and Benni McCarthy.

Blackburn Rovers: 2009-2010.

worn when the side finished 10th place in the Premier League under boss Sam Allardyce.
worn when the side finished 10th place in the Premier League under boss Sam Allardyce.

Blackburn Rovers: 2011-2012

This classic, graceful shirt with clean cut lines and a retro 1980's feel was worn when Rovers were relegated from the Premier League. By the start of the season, the incompetent Venkys had no shirt sponsor, finally settling for the Princes Trust.
This classic, graceful shirt with clean cut lines and a retro 1980's feel was worn when Rovers were relegated from the Premier League. By the start of the season, the incompetent Venkys had no shirt sponsor, finally settling for the Princes Trust.

Blackburn Rovers: 2013-2014

Venkys again a little late with a shirt sponsor but yet another refined and dignified shirt by Nike. The blue is on the left handside for the first time since 1947; this to celebrate the Football League's 125th anniversary.
Venkys again a little late with a shirt sponsor but yet another refined and dignified shirt by Nike. The blue is on the left handside for the first time since 1947; this to celebrate the Football League's 125th anniversary.

Blackburn Rovers Away shirt: 2013-2014

Rovers back to their traditional red and white away shirt with this edgy design.
Rovers back to their traditional red and white away shirt with this edgy design.

Blackburn Rovers: 2014-2015

A celebration of Rovers' proud heritage, a return to the club's roots, but with a fresh, modern perspective. The blue half stays on the left with dark navy blue trims, again harking back to Rovers' past. Rovers also wore this blue when promoted in 91-92.
A celebration of Rovers' proud heritage, a return to the club's roots, but with a fresh, modern perspective. The blue half stays on the left with dark navy blue trims, again harking back to Rovers' past. Rovers also wore this blue when promoted in 91-92.

Kit suppliers

My own opinion is that although Rovers traditionally produce stylish, clean and elegant

shirt designs, the Kappa and Uhlsport shirts were the ugliest I have ever seen; an unfortunate chapter in the history of the famous Blue 'n' White halves that I would rather forget.

 

14/15 Nike

13/14 Nike
12/13 Umbro
11/12 Umbro
10/11 Umbro
09/10 Umbro
08/09 Umbro
07/08 Umbro
06/07 Lonsdale
05/06 Lonsdale
04/05 Lonsdale
03/04 Kappa
02/03 Kappa
01/02 Kappa
00/01 Kappa 
99/00 Uhlsport
98/99 Uhlsport
97/98 Asics
96/97 Asics 
95/96 Asics
94/95 Asics
93/94 Asics
92/93 Asics
91/92 Ribero
90/91 Ribero
89/90 Ellgren
88/89 Ellgren
87/88 Spall
86/87 Spall
85/86 Spall
84/85 Spall 
83/84 Spall 
82/83 Spall 
81/82 Spall
80/81 Umbro
79/80 Umbro
78/79 Umbro
77/78 Umbro
76/77 Umbro
75/76 Umbro
74/75 Umbro

Shirt sponsors

14/15 Zebra Claims

13/14 RFS

12/13 Probiz

11/12 The Prince's Trust

10/11 Crown Paints

09/10 Crown Paints

08/09 Crown Paints

07/08 Bet24

06/07 Bet24

05/06 Lonsdale

04/05 HSA

03/04 HSA

02/03 AMD

01/02 Time Computers

00/01 Time Computers

99/00 CIS

98/99 CIS

97/98 CIS

96/97 CIS

95/96 McEwan's Lager

94/95 McEwan's Lager

93/94 McEwan's Lager

92/93 McEwan's Lager

91/92 McEwan's Lager

90/91 ICI Perspex

89/90 ICI Perspex

88/89 ICI Perspex

87/88 ICI Perspex

86/87 ICI Perspex

85/86 ICI Perspex

84/85 ICI Perspex