QPR, the adidas years: part 3

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  • Thanks and deepest apologies to Chris Guy, who has probably forgotten the information he provided given that it has taken us so long to publish this

Before we pick up where we left off at the end of part 2, a trip back to the mid-1970s.

In part 1, we featured an unusual mashup worn by Queens Park Rangers, the black away shorts and socks with the home shirt against Stoke City in March 1977.

The rules on shorts-clashing has been introduced in 1975 but, while blue shorts had been used early in 1976-77, it seemed that there wasn’t clarity on what was an wasn’t allowed.

Apparently, Rangers had been told that the away shorts had to be used as home alternatives for the Stoke game and so, after that, permission was sought from the Football League to wear the blue shorts.

League secretary Alan Hardaker replied to Rs secretary Ron Phillips, enclosing a letter that could be shown to referees.

However, Mr Hardaker – who is commemorated with the trophy given to the man of the match in the League Cup final – wasn’t as impressed with the fact that the QPR shirts had featured the adidas wordmark as well as the trefoil, which flouted league rules at the time.

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Despite defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the 1982 FA Cup final, QPR marked the achievement of reaching the decider by adding text to the crest for the 1982-83 season.

Almost inevitably, though, there were inconsistencies with the placement of the crest and the adidas logo, with both the short- and long-sleeved shirts having variants.

There were the usual mashups – blue shorts at Barnsley and blue shorts and socks at Middlesbrough. The away kit was the same as that worn in the cup final, with red change shorts used away to Grimsby Town.

After four seasons in Division 2, Rangers achieved promotion back to the top flight in 1982-83 and the celebration pictures featured a tracksuit that gave a slight clue as to what lay in wait for the following campaign.

Blue and white in the adidas style of the time with three horizontal stripes of different widths, the crest was rendered in red.

When the new home kit was launched in the summer of 1982, it had red trim on the neck and cuffs, the crest and trefoil were red – for a short time before a second version had them in white – and the hoops had red outlines, while Guinness became the club’s first shirt sponsors. The commemorative FA Cup final text was altered to honour the Division 2 win.

There was also a difference with the away kit, with the first appearance of the red and black hoops that would become known as the ‘Dennis the Menace’ style.

Despite no advance notice, it was introduced in October 1983 for the away game at Ipswich Town. The red outlines of the home strip were in effect still present, making the red hoops wider than the black.

This basic kit would enjoy a long spell as the second choice, lasting until the club’s relationship with adidas came to an end.

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