Great one-offs – Scotland, 1954
A while back, we featured a rare Scotland kit from the 1950s, the game against Switzerland in 1957 when they borrowed orange shorts from their hosts so as to make viewing easier on black-and-white televisions.
It was a strange look, but perhaps stranger still was the fact that they got caught in such a way, given what had happened against another red side three years earlier.
In November 1954, the famous ‘Magical Magyars’ – the Hungary side that had been beaten in the World Cup final that summer – were in Glasgow for a friendly.
A crowd of 113,000 crammed into Hampden Park and such was the interest that the game, at 2.15pm on a Wednesday, was broadcast live on television. It was for the purposes of TV that Scotland – who, incidentally, featured no players from Celtic or Rangers – took to the field in a modified version of their usual kit, featuring white sleeves.
It was an elegant solution to the problem, allowing Scotland to retain their usual navy but also ensuring differentiation for those viewing. However, Hungary won the game 4-2 and Scotland wouldn’t have white sleeves on a home shirt again until 2016.
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Here is a video clip of the match (from British Pathé)
The white sleeves certainly aided differentiation on black and white TV sets.