The 2004-05 season was a memorable one for Everton as they finished fourth in the FA Barclays Premiership, earning qualification to the Champions League for the first time.
As well as fine performances on the field, the Toffees also boasted a well thought-out set of kits, wearing eight different combinations in the league – however, the only blue/white mashup they didn’t wear was the default change strip of white shirts, blue shorts and blue socks.
While the white-blue-blue was worn in pre-season friendlies, Everton’s approach to kits that year was effectively to change whichever elements clashed with the home strip (with a pair of exceptions, as we shall see).
So, for example, the second game of the season saw them go to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. The Eagles had red shorts and socks that season – as we have seen, that meant a strange mashup for them at Portsmouth – and so Everton could have worn white-blue-blue, but instead they simply wore the away shirt with the home shorts and socks.
Their next two away games were in Manchester. On the bank holiday Monday at the end of August, they went to Old Trafford and, with Manchester United wearing white socks, Everton were in all-blue.
The all-blue would later be seen at Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion – as well as twice at Arsenal, in the Carling Cup and the league, when blue-blue-white could have been worn, as the Gunners had a rare season in red home socks in the Arsène Wenger era.
Next up for Everton was a visit to Manchester City and, though future seasons would see the all-blue worn there too, here Everton wore the away shirts and shorts with the home socks.
The white-blue-white was also worn at Portsmouth, despite the fact that Pompey’s red socks would have allowed Everton to wear their default away.
On November 6, they were away to Chelsea, whose blue shirts and white socks clashed with Everton’s home parts, meaning the white home shorts remained in situ.
A week later, the white-blue-white was used at Birmingham City and, perhaps surprisingly, with six months remaining in the season, it was the last time the white shirts were worn.
The following month at Blackburn Rovers saw the only appearance of the third kit, all-black with blue and white trim.
On New Year’s Day, they were away to Tottenham Hotspur, meaning that the blue change socks were worn with the home shirts and shorts. This combination was also seen away to Fulham in April.
And, while the Chelsea-esque blue-blue-white wasn’t used at Highbury, they did play in that combination at Aston Villa in February, due to Villa’s blue socks.
Perhaps surprisingly, Everton have only had one alternative kit in white and royal blue since then, the 2012-13 third strip, with darker shades generally used as trim on white change options.