Durable Blades the last ones standing

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Sunderland’s switch to Nike after eight seasons in adidas means that Sheffield United are the only red-and-white-striped English club in the adidas stable for 2020-21.

Over the past decade, five candystriped teams – the above two, Brentford, Southampton and Stoke City – have been outfitted by the German firm. Naturally, adidas’s challenge in that time has been to ensure that no two teams wore identical kits while at the same time staying true to traditional values.

While not every kit for those clubs has been in the ‘usual’ format, there have nevertheless been quite a few variations on the stripes over the past ten years.


After three seasons with Le Coq Sportif, Stoke City partnered with adidas in 2010 and were given the new Stricon template (right).


For the following season (left), the Potters turned out in a modified Tiro 11 template, though the socks remained the same and would also be unchanged for the following season, when another red and white team would be added to the adidas roster.


Sunderland joined the party, with their black shorts and socks – never featuring white stripes – doing a lot to differentiate them from Stoke but the red sleeves set them apart too while the stripes were also in reverse order.


Two more red and white clubs were added in 2013, however adidas opted for an all-red Tiro 13 template for Southampton – who had had white pinstripes on their last Umbro kit the previous season.

Another new addition were Brentford, who had the Estro 13 design. Both Stoke and Sunderland had bespoke looks, with Stoke’s socks finally changing, though it was to be their last adidas kit.


Also dispensing with adidas were Southampton, but Sheffield United were signed up by the German firm. They had a Condivo 14 template with Brentford in a Regista 14.

With the Bees and Sunderland in black shorts and socks, the latter had gold trim on their kit.


Having had self-produced kits in 2014-15, Southampton announced the return of adidas for the resumption of the deal commencing in 2013, so it was back to four clubs who normally wore candystripes. Southampton had an altered edition of the teamwear Striped 15 template.

However, as with 2013-14, there was an exception, this time Sheffield United, who were in a commemorative shirt of white with dark red pinstripes to mark their 125th anniversary.

Brentford’s kit was of the same construction but in the more usual scheme, while Sunderland ramped up the white in their shirt.


Southampton’s return was brief and so it was back to three red-and-white striped kits in 2016.

As with the previous year, Brentford and Sheffield United had the same template – albeit not a teamwear one – with the colours arranged differently. Brentford made it four straight seasons with the same sock design.

Sunderland’s shirt had no black trim apart from the sponsor, with gold returning. The shorts were black, as usual, but red socks returned for the first time since the last Umbro kit in 2011-12.


Brentford’s socks finally changed, while Sheffield United carried theirs forward for a second season. The Blades wore ill-matching red baselayers with their shirts and added black trim to the stripes.

For their ‘Netflix season’, Sunderland went with very narrow stripes and a solid red back.

Incidentally, for the 2018 League of Ireland season, Derry City were back in adidas for the first time in three decades and they had yet another variation, with a Tiro 17 used as the base for their home shirt.


While Sunderland wore red shorts with their home shirts in away games, black remained in situ at the Stadium of Light. Red socks were used again though, meaning the three adidas clubs each had different sock colours.

In their last season before switching to Umbro, Brentford had white sleeves and so did Sheffield United, but different neck styles and adidas striping were used as differentiating details.


Back down to two clubs for the coming season, with both Sunderland and Sheffield United in black shorts and red socks, while the shirts had the same make-up too.

Sunderland had thicker stripes and white sleeves – incidentally, Betdaq’s parent company have pulled out of football sponsorship but the deal was paid up and the space has been given over to Children with Cancer UK – while Sheffield United had red sleeves for their return to the Premier League.


Now the only ones left, Sheffield United’s new home shirt has more white than red, with the Condivo 20 base used but a gradient feature employed on the stripes, the same as that used on the 2018 Argentina shirt.

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