- This was originally posted as part of the One-offs series – thanks to Chris Parker for making us away of the second usage
In our recent article on the times when home teams have had to wear change strips in the Premier League, we featured the 2003-04 meeting of Fulham and Newcastle (right).
Basically, Newcastle brought their grey third kit rather than their black away – perhaps because Fulham had one black sleeve – but, as there were concerns about that clashing with Fulham’s white home strip, the Cottagers had to play in black.
We feel that, in such a scenario, there should be a ‘payback’ the next time the teams meet. This happened in another 2003 instance, in the NFL. The rules there allow the home side to choose whether they wear their dark or light uniforms, with the opposition going for the opposite. With a few exceptions, most clubs wear dark at home but teams in warmer climes do often plump for white in early-season games to counteract the heat.
That’s what the San Diego Chargers decided to do for the game at home to the Denver Broncos but the visitors only showed up with their white uniforms and pleaded ignorance or forgetfulness. The league weren’t buying that though and fined them $25,000 as well as giving the Chargers the choice of what to wear for their trip to Colorado later in the season. They availed of the option to wear their usual blue.
Following that logic, Fulham should have been allowed to wear white when they went to St James’ Park in January 2004, with Newcastle having to solve the colour-clash.
It didn’t happen, of course, but what we did have was Fulham wearing their red third shirts – essentially the exact opposite of the black away – for the only time that season, as they fell to a 3-1 defeat.
However, while it was the first outing for the shirts, the other elements of the kit did appear in mashups.
Away to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham wore their home white shirts with the red shorts and socks, while at Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, the red shorts joined the black shirts and socks.
That looked to be that for the red shirts, until the penultimate game of the 2004-05 season, away to Blackburn Rovers.
This time, however, a mashup of three different kits was worn – the shirts were joined by the 2003-05 home shorts and the socks from the black away kit, which had been retained as the home alternative set. This game also finished 3-1, but this time in Fulham’s favour.