Surridge Sport have launched the home kit Bradford City will be wearing next season. The shirt reverts to thinner claret and amber stripes with the back mainly amber. The traditional black, worn as a mark of respect to those who perished in the Bradford Fire, is incorporated with a strip the full length of both arms and on the cuffs. The shorts are now black with a claret edging on the left leg.
Socks are claret and amber. Replica kits are on sale from 9.00am in Surridge Upfront Sportstore at the Intersonic Stadium on Friday 6 July 2007
Bradford City is the only professional football club in England to wear claret and amber. The colours were inherited upon the conversion of Manningham FC from (northern union) rugby to soccer in 1903. However whereas Manningham traditionally wore claret and amber hoops City have always worn stripes.
Manningham FC was formed in 1880 (although a Manningham Albion club is recorded prior to that date) and adopted claret and amber in 1884 before the move to Valley Parade in 1886. Manningham had originally worn black shirts with white shorts and the first game in claret and amber was against Hull on 20 September 1884 at Carlisle Road.
The reason for the adoption of claret and amber is not documented but it is a strong coincidence that these were also the colours of the West Yorkshire Regiment, based at Belle Vue Barracks on Manningham Lane. Both Manningham FC (after 1886) and later Bradford City FC (from 1903-08) used the Belle Vue facilities as changing and club rooms.
Bradford City have worn claret and amber with either white or black. The club's away shirt has traditionally been white and to a lesser extent blue although in recent years there has been a profusion of both colours and designs. Goalkeepers usually play in light grey or green kits but again there has been a profusion of styles. City scarves have sold in large numbers in recent years to fans of Harry Potter, as the colours are the same as those of Harry's house scarf at Hogwarts School.
In Scotland Motherwell is the only professional club to wear claret and amber. Motherwell originally wore blue but subsequently changed to claret and amber in 1913, wearing those colours for the first time on 23 August 1913 in a game with Celtic. Contemporary opinion was that 'while the new colours were distinctive they were by no means pretty!'. It has been suggested that one reason for the colour change was due to the fact that blue was such a common colour and one which was subject to frequent clashes with opposing teams such as Rangers and Kilmarnock. It was originally thought that claret and amber were chosen because they were the racing colours of Lord Hamilton. This explanation has subsequently been discounted. It may be the case that Motherwell copied the colours from Bradford City, FA Cup winners in 1911 and a strong English First Division club with many Scottish connections at that time.
Contrary to any suggestion the City colours were certainly not derived from the civic identity of Bradford given that the primary colours of the Bradford coat of arms were red and blue with gold. Manningham was a township within Bradford and its identity was defined more by sporting (and social?) rivalry with the township of Horton where the Park Avenue ground was situated.
The fact that red, amber and black (with white) has been worn by three of the city's senior football clubs (namely Bradford AFC, Bradford RFC / Bradford & Bingley RUFC and Bradford Northern RLFC / Bradford Bulls who were all descended from the original Bradford FC which was based at Park Avenue) has made many people assume that these were the de facto sporting colours of Bradford. Indeed the colours have also been used by other sports organisations in Bradford such as cycling, hockey and athletics principally in the style of a red, amber and black band on a white shirt (as typically worn by Bradford Northern and as an away kit by Bradford).
Red, amber and black are also the historic colours of Bradford Cricket Club formed in 1836. Bradford FC had been formed in 1863 by former pupils of Bramham College and in 1880 joined Bradford CC at Park Avenue. However it is not known whether one club took the colours of the other at this time. Bradford did not achieve city status until 1897 and to that extent red, amber and black could well have been associated with Bradford prior to the granting of the arms and certainly well before Bradford's city status.