Fantasy Kit Friday – Liverpool’s blue and white roots

Liverpool FC and the colour blue have a complicated relationship – largely due to the fact, as true kit obsessives will know, that it’s the main colour of their main city rivals, Everton.

The Merseyside derby is probably the ultimate example of a red v blue fixture, with both teams wearing the most straightforward versions of each colour. Put simply, if you get a birthday card from your auntie with a generic football illustration on the cover, it’s likely to look like a Liverpool-Everton match.

Owing to this, Liverpool fans are often hostile to the colour, a feeling that  – despite the idea of the ‘friendly derby’ – seems to have increased in recent years. A story from James Milner’s How To Be a Footballer illustrates this, as well as the positive way in which social media has improved all of our lives.

Milner was captaining Liverpool in a Champions League match in Belgrade, and was asked to call the coin toss. In UEFA competitions, the ‘coin’ is actually a plastic disc, red on one side, blue on the other, for clarity, and of course, a Liverpool captain would usually choose the red side.

Milner, though, reasoning that he was coming up against Red Star Belgrade, with a hostile crowd bedecked in red and setting off multiple red flares, opted on this occasion for blue. I’ve never really paid much attention to which side a player chooses on the coin toss, which I realise makes me an inadequate football fan, but some other people, with a better sense of priorities than me, did spot this, and gave him grief on social media. 

Blue, then, is not a popular colour with Liverpool fans, and yet the club is not as unfamiliar with it as those attitudes may indicate.

Obviously, you’re never going to see them turn out in plain royal blue shirts, but on the other hand, three consecutive kits in the Gérard Houllier era (1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02) had navy blue as a secondary colour.

It was a style that was restored for the 2019-20 away strip. There was also the 2011-12 third kit, which was white with light blue details, à la Marseille. But it goes deeper than that: Liverpool FC were founded when Everton vacated Anfield in 1892, and their first ever kit was blue – light-blue and white halves to be precise, with darker blue shorts and socks. Four years later, they changed to red shirts, before Bill Shankly made the switch to all red in the mid-60s.

The thing is though…I really like the original colour scheme, and it’s a shame that Liverpool have never fully paid homage to it with an away kit, presumably due to azurophobia. The 2017-18 away was said to be influenced by it, but not quite: the shirt was quartered and more green – resembling the 1995-96 away kit – with black shorts.

This edition of Fantasy Kit Friday imagines if they had, and as it’s fantasy I’m going for adidas because…well look, because I want Liverpool to wear adidas and it’s my post, alright? Feyenoord are an adidas team, and one of the most prominent clubs to wear half-shirts, so we’ll use their smart 2018/19 outfit. I’ve changed the socks to lighter blue than the original kit for purely aesthetic reasons.

3 comments on “Fantasy Kit Friday – Liverpool’s blue and white roots

  1. MusashiX 96

    It looks pretty good. A pity that Liverpool is not encouraged to make a kit that pays tribute to its beginnings.

  2. Antony Michael Hudson

    Pretty cool. Didn’t Liverpool perform in blue many moons ago when they were formed ?

  3. Martin O'Rourke

    Very nice kit concept. I doubt that any Red with a grasp of history would object, but there will always be those too embittered by the divide. Oddly enough, most of the complaints about the blue on the most recent actual Adidas away was that they were seen to be attempting to shoehorn Standard Chartered’s corporate colours into proceedings. Not that it was blue. Even if we did have a similar shade of blue during the 1920’s…


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