Great One-Offs – Sunderland third kit, 2000-01

It might be  surprise to some to learn that Sunderland were the first British football club to wear Nike kits, back in the mid-1980s.

That will be the focus of a future article, but today we’ll focus on a particular shirt from the American company’s second spell with the Mackems, commencing in 2000.

Nike gave the club very nice interchangeable home and away kits, with the white away shirt worn with three different shorts/socks configurations.

As can be seen from that last example, the white was allowed against Arsenal even though refs often have a problem with such a sleeve clash. However, for the visit to The Dell to take on Southampton at the end of April, they were forced to come up with a special third shirt.

Sunderland-2000-2001-Nike-third-shirt-Southampton-Kilbane-01

Following the design of the away shirt, it was similar to the Arsenal third which had been released before Christmas, while the away shorts, with a black Nike swoosh, were used. The away socks might have been a better bet too, given that the navy set were similar to Southampton’s black pairs.

Sunderland won 1-0, with Kevin Kilbane scoring an acrobatic goal – but did he mean it?

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