Albion's new UMBRO home kit for the 2007/08 season And fans can get their hands on it when it goes on sale at the Stadium Megastore and Merry Hill Centre club shop tomorrow (Thursday) from 9am.The new shirt features more stripes than last season, the reintroduction of stripes on the sleeves , a small collar and embroidered UMBRO logo.
Albion have also switched from white to blue socks for the forthcoming campaign. The highly-advanced shirt features UMBRO's new Climate Control Technology, incorporating a unique fabric called 'Trilogy' - a three-stage thermodynamic performance material tested at Loughborough University's sports science department.
The strip has been created using modern construction techniques, including laser cutting across the shoulder and thermal-bonded cuffs, increasing comfort levels for players and fans alike.
West Bromwich Albion play in navy blue and white striped shirts, and have done so for the majority of their existence, usually with white shorts and white socks. The team is occasionally referred to as The Stripes by supporters. During the club's formative years however, a number of different colours were trialled, including cardinal red and blue quarters (1880-81), yellow and white quarters (1881-82), chocolate and blue halves (1881-82 & 1882-83), red and white hoops (1882-83), chocolate and white (1883-84) and cardinal red and blue halves (1884-85). The famous blue and white stripes made their first appearance in the 1885-86 season, although at that time they were of a lighter shade of blue; the navy blue stripes did not appear until after World War I. For the regional leagues played during World War II, Albion were forced to switch to all-blue shirts, as rationing meant that striped material was considered a luxury.
Like all football clubs, Albion sport a secondary ("change") strip when playing away from home against a team whose colours clash with their own. A wide variety of different away colours have been worn over the years, but yellow and green striped shirts have been the most common choice since the early 1970s. A number of other change strips have come to be associated with particular matches. For example in the 1935 FA Cup final, the players wore plain blue shirts, in the 1967 League Cup final an all-red strip was used, while the 1968 FA Cup winning team sported white shirts and shorts, with red socks.
Albion's shirts have been sponsored since the 1981-82 season, when BSR Housewares became their first kit sponsor. Since then the club has agreed a number of shirt sponsorship deals, the longest of which was with the West Bromwich Building Society for seven seasons between 1997 and 2004. They were succeeded by current shirt sponsor T-Mobile. Albion's kit is manufactured by Umbro.
Albion's main club crest dates back to the late 1880s, when then club secretary Tom Smith suggested that a throstle sitting on a crossbar be adopted for the crest. Since then, the club crest has always featured a throstle, usually on a blue and white striped shield, although the crossbar was replaced with a hawthorn branch at some point after the club's move to The Hawthorns. The crest has been subject to various revisions through the years, meaning that the club were unable to register it as a trademark. As a result of this, the crest was re-designed in 2006, incorporating the name of the club for the first time. The new crest gave Albion the legal protection they sought.
The main club crest should be distinguished from the badge displayed on the first team strip, as the two have rarely co-incided. Historically, no badge appeared on the kit, although the West Bromwich town crest was worn on the players' shirts for the 1931, 1935 and 1954 FA Cup finals. The crest's Latin motto, "Labor omnia vincit", translates as "labour conquers all things". The town crest was revived as the shirt badge from 1994 until 2000 (2001 on the away strip). Albion's first regular shirt crest appeared in the late 1960s and featured the familiar throstle, but without the blue and white striped shield of the club crest. This continued until the early 1970s, with a similar design used during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the mid 1970s, a more abstract version of the throstle was used on the club's shirts, while in the late 1970s through to the mid-1980s, an embroidered WBA logo was displayed, a common abbreviation of the club's name in print. Only in the 21st century has the actual club crest come to be worn on the shirts.