To mark their return to the Premiership in 2004, West Bromwich Albion were clad in a nice set of complementary Diadora kits, a classic home trimmed in red with white shorts and navy socks while the red change shirt had navy shorts and red socks. The navy shorts doubled up as home alternatives while there was a set of white socks, too.
However, for the trip to Southampton in November of that season, neither shirt was suitable and so a third had to be called upon. The solution was a white version of the away, featuring two parallel lines down the left-hand side of the body – though, given the amount of white on the Saints’ kit, perhaps the reverse would have been better. The home white shorts were used but, while the white socks could perhaps be classed as the ‘third socks, the navy set was worn so as not to clash with the home side’s white.
Having looked to be destined for relegation, the Baggies pulled off a great escape in the closing stages of the 2004-05 season, ensuring their survival in the top flight. The new home kit featured fatter stripes and navy socks, while navy was the choice for the away kit, albeit with red socks.
The mainly white back of the home shirt meant that it could be used against some royal blue teams, for instance at Chelsea early in the season, but for the trip to Portsmouth in December they opted to switch and, with the away unsuitable, the white third was called upon for the second time.
On this occasion, the 2005-06 away shorts were worn, along with the white alternative home socks (it’s not clear if these socks actually appeared with the stripes as, at Old Trafford, Manchester United wore white socks against West Brom, having also done so in 2004-05).
It seemed as if the kit was destined to be one of those worn just twice, but on the last day of the season, with relegation this time already assured, it had a final run-out.
Everton’s white socks meant that a different combination to that used at Portsmouth would be needed and, rather than going white-navy-navy, instead West Brom used the red away socks in a 2-2 draw.
The 2005-06 season proved to be West Brom’s last with Diadora, as Umbro returned in the summer of 2006 and opted for black for their first away kit.