- Thanks to Chelsea kit expert Nik Yeomans for providing information
Having taken over from Umbro as Chelsea’s kit manufacturers in 2006, adidas took a relatively safe approach with their first set of kits – a white change kit trimmed in blue that was close to a reversal of the home strip and then a black third option.
For their second campaign at Stamford Bridge, the German firm mixed things up with the away kit, opting for a very bright shade of yellow paired with black. There would be room for something a bit more traditional with the third kit, but it would be limited to just two outings, both in the spring as the season built to a thrilling climax.
While Chelsea had worn the away kit at Aston Villa early in the season, that game was a 2-0 defeat and so perhaps was a factor in the decision to wear the white third shirts at West Ham United in March, as they battled Manchester United and Arsenal for the Premier League.
Only the shirts – a typical adidas mid-2000s design, with swooping panels – were new that day at Upton Park, though. The Hammers’ white shorts and socks clashed with the default elements of the rest of the Chelsea kit, meaning the home shorts and home change socks (2006-07 away set) were used in a 4-0 win for Avram Grant’s side.
The kit would be seen in its intended format just once, for the Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Fenerbahçe on April 2. The Turkish side wear blue and yellow stripes (a few years later, Arsenal would forced into an unusual mashup against them), meaning neither of Chelsea’s first or second kits could be used and so they donned all-white.
The white shirts’ 100 percent record was lost as the home side won 2-1, but a 2-0 triumph for the Blues in London sent them into the semi-finals. While they would make the final, unfortunately for them both there and in the league, they would finish a close second to Manchester United.
For 2008-09, there would be no white strip in the kit-room, with Chelsea’s alternative options a black second kit and a more traditional shade of yellow for the third.