The club’s new third kit has been announced this morning, and you’re reading it here first.
The shirt features the names of all supporters who gave up some, or all of their season tickets last time out as part of the club raffle, or money-can’t-buy experiences. It’s no secret that football clubs relied on the generosity of their supporters, and at Lincoln the potential hit was huge. 6,000 season ticket holders all taking their money out could have led to disaster.
That’s why the new shirt features the names of the supporters who were able to leave money with the club, and it’s why you’re reading it here first, or on a supporter’s social media. it’s a shirt for the fans, and it’s being announced by the fans. It’s a nice touch from the club, and it looks like a nice shirt.
It’s always difficult to judge a shirt until it is in your hands, but the inspiration here is very clear indeed; it is a tribute to the 2002/03 Play-Off Final shirt, and that’s poignant in itself. In 2002, fans united to help save the club, and their reward the following year was the first-ever appearance at a national stadium, as we faced Bournemouth. We lost the game 5-2, but it is an iconic moment in our history, a rags-to-riches adventure driven by the supporters, literally, as Rob Bradley assumed control as chairman.
Sponsored by the club’s long time commercial partner SRP, the shirt even has the same shoulder design as the 2003 shirt. back then, Impsport were the manufacturer and their logo ran down the shoulders; this time out it is the Errea logo instead. The names look to be subtle too; in 2009 we released a green shirt adorned by the name of supporters, and it was a bit of a mess (I bought it though, obviously). This appears different, the names are in the fabric, but they’re more sympathetic of the overall design. From a distance, it is a yellow shirt, close up, they’re clear.
I’m intrigued to see what the finished product looks like; the collar is always a bone of contention with some so I’ll be interested to see how that looks close up, and how it fits. There’s one certainty here; I’ll buy it. It’s a kit the club will play a game in which has my name on it, and that alone is enough to convince me to get it bought.
There’s an expected announcement from the club later this morning, where you’ll see a short video, as well as find out the buying options, but for now enjoy these pictures (and a sneaky one I’ve included from Cardiff ’03), and look forward to seeing it in the flesh.