Midweek Mashup – Chelsea, 1970

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Most of our other Midweek Mashup examples to date have featured home shirts mixed with alternative shorts and/or socks, but this week is the opposite of that – a home shirt altered.

In 1970, Chelsea reached the FA Cup for the second time in four attempts. The 1967 decider, against Tottenham Hotspur, had seen them wear blue socks as their North London opponents went for an all-white look and their opponents in ’70, Leeds United, also caused a socks-clash. At Elland Road earlier that season, Chelsea had been in all-blue.

As it happened, Chelsea won the toss and Leeds wore the red socks from their away kit at Wembley on April 11, as they would against Celtic in their European Cup semi-final second leg four days later. A 2-2 draw after extra time meant a replay at Old Trafford on Wednesday, April 29, meaning it was Chelsea’s turn to switch socks.

Perhaps there was an aversion to the blue socks after the 1967 final, but whatever the reason was, they opted to wear yellow socks. So that this wouldn’t jar, short similar to the away shorts (blue with a yellow stripe and numbers, compared with white trim on the home) were also worn, and a unique set of home shirts were made – with the white crest and numbers in matching yellow too.


While Chelsea’s shirts in the drawn game featured a ‘Wembley 1970’ inscription, a plain crest was used for the second match (the club’s online store sells the white-trimmed shirt but not replay one). Leeds either used the same set of shirts or had an identical set made before discovering the replay venue, as their shirts in both games mentioned Wembley.

After Mick Jones put Leeds ahead, Peter Osgood equalised to send the replay to extra time and then defender David Webb scored the winner to give the club its first cup win. A year later, the yellow socks would again be seen as Real Madrid were beaten in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. However, they would lose their mystical powers in 1972 as Chelsea lost to Stoke City in the League Cup final.

From 1985-1992, Chelsea would revert to blue socks as first choice with the home kit, but they have had white since the beginning of the Premier League. Nowadays, blue is always worn when a change is needed but, in the mid-90s, the away pairs were used. It meant the blue-blue-yellow look was occasionally seen at Elland Road or Highbury, while the red socks from the 1992-94 away strip made for a very un-Chelsea look when paired with the home shirts and shorts.

7 comments on “Midweek Mashup – Chelsea, 1970

  1. Nik Yeomans

    Hi Denis, the shorts worn for the FA Cup replay were not the away shorts (which were a much darker blue), but customised home shorts with yellow trim and numbers. These were then carried over and used for the following two seasons with plain yellow socks from the ECWC Final in 1971 onwards. In 1972 ‘Wembley 1972’ embroidery was added and worn v Stoke and Leeds then finally a yellow collar appeared to be worn v Spurs and Forest.

    1. Nik Yeomans

      This was a fascinating period for subtle (Chelsea) kit changes, just when I think I have found them all another one pops up. What a pity there are so few colour images available.

      1. Denis Hurley

        I couldn’t agree more – I drive myself potty searching for things and then another source seems to contradict what I’ve just found!

        Did you see our recent piece on Chelsea’s 1990-91 kits?

      2. Nik Yeomans

        I did, and that one was spot on 🙂 This was the last season Chelsea ever wore a wholly red shirt. Diamonds followed, then pinstripes and shorts. Since then it has only ever been a trim feature. I think Ken Bates might have imposed a ban on red. A shame as I really liked our 70’s ‘Hungarian’ kit. Also historically our away kit was always red from the late 30’s to the mid 60’s, and even occasionally from 1911 onwards.

  2. denishurley

    Yeah, clubs nowadays get far too caught up in not wanting to be seen in ‘rivals’ colours’.

    I don’t suppose you know why Chelsea and Manchester City both changed when they met in the ECWC in 1970-71? I know that the ‘both change’ rule was still in place for the FA Cup, but odd that it would happen in European comp too.

    1. Nik Yeomans

      I don’t know the official reason but often clubs would come to a private agreement. Chelsea let Barca wear their home kit in all 3 Fairs Cup ties in the mid 60’s and the following season agreed to wear their white away kit in both FA Cup ties v Brighton. There was also an agreement where Chelsea and Man City both wore away kits before the Full Members Cup final in 1986, even going so far as to have new full squad photos taken for the programme cover.
      The FA Cup rule whereby both clubs changed was very strange, especially as everyone and his dog wore a yellow and blue away kit in the 70’s…


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