From the point of view of a cohesive and complementary set of kits, Newcastle United looked to be well served in 1987-88.
The Toon had a new home strip, trimmed in silver, while the change kit remained the same as the previous two seasons, with the club’s main colours well represented on one of Umbro’s best templates from the era.
However, the silver back-up strip was often deemed to be troublesome against teams in white. In 1986-87, for instance, Newcastle wore their home strip at Tottenham Hotspur but, given that Spurs’ home strip was all-white back then, there wasn’t a huge clash.
Spurs were back in navy shorts for 1987-88 and when they welcomed Newcastle in August, the visitors were in silver. If there was any confusion, it didn’t affect them as they won 3-1, but the next time they travelled to face a team in white, they donned a third kit.
That was in November for a game against Luton Town, with a mid-blue kit worn – judging by the inclusion of the older ‘Greenalls Beers’ logo, this would appear to be 1985 or 1986 issue, but the lack of a crest suggests it was cobbled together at short notice.
Edit: Thanks to Andrew Colton on Twitter for this tidbit:
It was very likely introduced specifically for the Luton game because on a previous visit they’d ended up wearing Luton’s away strip instead of their grey kit.
I can’t find photo evidence of that as my programme collection is in boxes but I know it happened as I was there!!
Unfortunately for Newcastle, it didn’t prove to be a memorable outing as they lost 4-0 and the blue wasn’t seen again.
Later in the campaign, the silver was worn against Derby County – the Rams’ dark shorts perhaps helping distinguish the sides – but the summer of 1988 saw a change in direction as they went with a yellow and green change kit.