The previous instalment of this series to feature Birmingham looked at a one-off occasion where they wore red shorts and socks with their home shirts, but today’s instance was a little more common.
The Blues were among the tranche of clubs to switch from Umbro to adidas in 1977 – Umbro were adidas’s UK agents at the time, hard to imagine now – but the supply of kit didn’t stretch to blue change shorts or socks.
That meant that when Birmingham went to Elland Road in August that year, they paired their blue tops with the shorts and socks from the yellow change kit, giving a look of a Sweden away strip.
However, for games where just a shorts change was required – at Manchester United or Nottingham Forest, for examples – Birmingham opted to go with the yellow socks too. Perhaps they feared that blue shirts, yellow shorts and white socks wouldn’t look right – similar to how Chelsea’s socks changes in the 70s led to shorts switches too.
In later seasons with adidas, blue alternative shorts were eventually made available. They’re now back with the German firm, but there are no indications that this unique look will be revived.