Season in kits – Chelsea, 1965-66

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The 1964-65 season had been a huge success for Chelsea, finishing third and winning the league cup. Their achievements saw them involved in the 1965-66 Fairs Cup and electing not to defend the league cup.

The home kit was similar to the previous season, but this term only long sleeved shirts would be worn, in both home and the away styles. The CFC logo was embroidered very high on the shirt, more collar bone than chest, possibly to prevent the dreaded nipple rub.

All away shirts now received the CFC logo and the first to appear was the yellow shirt, with navy shorts and yellow socks, against West Bromwich Albion on October 2.

With the usual lack of logic, Chelsea wore an all-red kit at Blackburn Rovers two weeks later when the yellow kit would have sufficed. The yellow kit prevailed through November and January until the red outfit reappeared for the game against Everton in February.

Whilst all this was going on, the European campaign had started. Wiener Sportklub had the honour of forcing Chelsea to wear blue socks over both legs, but, more importantly, in the second leg on December 1, Chelsea wore their new plain blue Umbro shirts for the first time.

In European away games in Milan, Munich and Barcelona, an all-white strip with blue trim was utilised. This was considered to have better visibility in floodlit matches.

In the home game v Barcelona the white shirts were worn again, this time with the home shorts. For some reason, Barcelona wore their home shirts with what appeared to be Chelsea’s white shorts.

The final decider, after the first two games left the teams deadlocked, was in Barcelona and for this game Chelsea wore the yellow shirts and navy shorts (despite the Chelsea-issued programme stating they would wear white). I won’t mention the score, but it was 5-0.

Back in the league, the red shirt was matched up with plain black shorts for the Leicester City away game.

Then, in the FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday, yet another kit was produced. At this time the FA had a rather curious rule that in the case of a kit clash both team would change, leading to the obvious event that the away kits often clashed too, but not in this case.

Wednesday wore their standard plain white away kit (very sensible, considering the game was played on a very wet and muddy Villa Park) and Chelsea elected to wear a bespoke Inter Milan-style outfit complete with blue numbers and trim, despite having two other suitable kits in the locker. Needless to say, the game was lost and the kit was never seen again.

Overall, this makes ten different combinations, all worn in the season proper.

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