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As sets of kits went, Birmingham City had a good one in 2007-08.

The home was a refreshed version of the classic ‘penguin’ style, with white shorts and blue socks, while the away was the same template with a white shirt, blue shorts and white socks, allowing for a lot of mix-and-match options.

Of course, the high levels of white on the home shirt meant that the Blues often had to change against teams with white kits, and so a red third kit was also available.

That was what they had intended to wear for the trip to face Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on December 22, 2007, but while the red shorts and socks were packed, the shirts were absent.

What apparently happened was that replica home shirts were bought from a sports shop – would Birmingham jerseys have been readily available in Bolton? – and had the patches and names applied with Bolton’s equipment. Presumably referee Chris Foy was happy that the shorts and socks helped to provide enough distinction, while the fact that the backs of the home shirt were blue also helped.

Birmingham-City-Umbro-2007-2008-home-shirt-red-shorts-socks-Bolton-01

The strange look didn’t help Birmingham though as they fell to a 3-0 defeat.

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