Today, Nottingham Forest have announced a new deal which will see adidas return as the club’s kit supplier.
It will be the German firm’s third stint at the City Ground, having outfitted Forest from 1977-86 – encompassing the club’s league title of 1978 and European Cup wins in 1979 and 1980 – and again from 2013-18.
Both of those successes came in all-red and we have previously looked at how that first stint saw Forest began a tradition of wearing red shorts at Tottenham Hotspur. This time, it is the first season of the second spell that we will look at, when red shorts and socks didn’t match up so well.
Unsurprisingly, the home strip for 2013-14 was a plain and classy red and white affair, while the change kit was charcoal grey with red trim in the popular adidas Tiro 13 design. The third also used the Tiro 13 style and it seemed like a compromise – the first time around, yellow and blue were the favoured away colours while a white/red reversal is also popular but here adidas went with white paired with blue. Club owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi installed his refrigeration and air-conditioning firm as main sponsors.
The charcoal kit solved most problems – early in the season at Doncaster, the shirt was worn with the red alternative home shorts and home socks – but the FA Cup fifth round game at League 1 Sheffield United threw up something different.
The Blades had black shorts and white socks that season and it’s possible that Forest or the match officials weren’t keen on charcoal shirts and socks with red or white shorts as a good enough contrast to that. The solution that was reached was that the white third shirts would be worn – but that meant a socks-clash to sort.
The red home set was chosen but, rather than going with a Russia-like white-blue-red, the red home change shorts were also pressed into action.
Sadly for Forest, the mashup was worn in a losing effort as Sheffield United progressed to the sixth round on a 3-1 scoreline. The following season, they would opt for white away shirts with red pinstripes and shorts, allowing for easy interchangeability with the home kit.