If you read Nik Yeomans’ recent article on Chelsea’s 1965-66 kits, you may have noticed a reference to the club’s Fairs Cup semi-final tie with Barcelona, which needed a replay.
In the first leg at the Nou Camp on April 27, Barcelona won 2-0, wearing their normal kit against the all-white of Chelsea.
Two weeks later at Stamford Bridge, the Catalan side were again in their famous striped shirts, but their strip had a notable change.
While Chelsea were again in white shirts, this time they wore their blue home shorts and Barça used the shorts Chelsea had worn in the first leg – which were of course white, the colour of their rivals Real Madrid.
Nowaways, no part of the Barça kit features white – the Kappa strips of the 1990s didn’t always go down well with the culés – but this passed off without incident.
With no verified prood of what happened, we can only speculate as to what led to this state of affairs.
We can surely rule out the theory that Barça thought white was Chelsea’s first-choice colour.
Perhaps it was the case that they only brought their home shirts in the hope no change would be required. Then, with Chelsea asked to switch to solve the clash, they looked for some concession from their visitors and this was the result. Who knows? Shorts-clashes were not an issue back then, so there was no specific need to change, unless they had simply forgotten to bring their own set.
In any case, a pair of own goals meant that Chelsea won 2-0 to level the tie on aggregate. This being the era before away goals or penalty shootouts being used to find a winner, a third game was needed and Barça won the toss for home venue.
As Nik mentioned in his article, Chelsea issued a programme for the replay and that said that they would wear white but, instead, they turned out in a yellow and navy strip instead.
Wearing their default kit, Barça won 5-0 to advance to the final, where they beat fellow Spanish side Real Zaragoza 4-3 on aggregate.