Earlier this year, we looked at an odd Leeds United mashup, centred around how the club had ditched yellow shorts, leading to an odd mix of their third shirt with home shorts.
When I was growing up, Leeds’ away was pretty much always yellow with some bit of blue and this was of course the case as the club won the last ‘old’ Division 1 title in 1991-92.
That summer brought a lot of change on the kit front, though. The club’s deal with Umbro ended, as did the short-term sponsorship arrangement with the Yorkshire Evening Post.
On both fronts, Admiral were the replacements as they sought to re-assert themselves in the kit game, with a five-year contract agreed, as outlined in the excellent book Do You Want To Win? by Daniel Chapman, which covers the club’s development during the period from 1988-92.
Sartorially, Admiral’s most noticeable change was the designation of blue as the away colour, with yellow demoted to third choice. Daniel goes into detail on blue Leeds change strips here, and it is a deviation mentioned in that piece that we will look at.
With nobody wearing white shirts and yellow shorts, there was never a need to switch from all-yellow, but the trip to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur in February 1993 saw the team emerge in something resembling the change kit worn in the late 1960s.
Tottenham had navy shorts and socks, but Leeds only changed shorts, despite the Premier League having decreed that shorts-clashes between teams didn’t have to be solved, in contrast to the Football League’s rule.
While Leeds had beaten Spurs 5-0 at Elland Road in the new Premier League in August (with Eric Cantona scoring a hat-trick), their form had dipped since then and their defence of the title was characterised by a failure to win an away game – this was a 4-0 loss.
The league outings, coupled with the 3-0 Champions League defeat to VfB Stuttgart, meant the blue shirt was also winless and it wasn’t seen after this game, with the yellow preferred when a change was required.
Despite the five-year deal, Leeds and Admiral’s link-up ended in the summer of 1993, with Asics taking over. In 1993-94, Leeds would pair their home shorts with their yellow and blue striped away shirt at White Hart Lane, but subsequent seasons saw blue away shorts worn there with no problems.