In our recent post looking at Chelsea’s Le Coq Sportif kits, we showed a couple of instances where the club had worn white shorts with their blue home shirts.
The reason for this, of course, is that the Football League didn’t – and don’t – allow clubs playing each other to have the same colour shorts. However, Chelsea also used this look a few times in the 1970s, but for a more roundabout reason.
One of the first Midweek Mashups looked at how the Blues would wear yellow socks when forced to change from white, with alternative blue shirts and shorts featuring matching trim.
However, in the 1973-74 season, they changed tack, deciding to use black socks with blue tops – plain blue turnovers against Stoke City and sets with white stripes against Leeds United and West Ham United (again, thanks go to Nik Yeomans for the info).
In each instance, though, the club also swapped blue shorts for white:
The explanation came in the club’s matchday programme for the game at home to Manchester City in February 1974.
The reason we wore white shorts at Leeds last Saturday was a stocking clash!
Because Leeds wear white stockings we changed to black (with coloured top) and as it was felt that a strip of blue shirts, blue shorts and black stockings would look toio dark, we opted for white shorts.
The black socks were also used in three games against Stoke City (two in the league cup) in 1974-75 while a trip to Sheffield United saw blue socks with red tops, again with white shorts.