After revealing their new 07/08 home kit , West Ham United is delighted to reveal their brand new away kit for the 2007-08 Barclays Premier League campaign.
Manufactured by new technical partners Umbro and emblazoned with the logo of our new principal partners XL.com, the new kit goes on sale exclusively through official outlets on Thursday 26th July.
The original colours of the team were dark blue, due to Thames Iron Works chairman Arnold Hills being a former student of Oxford University. However the team used a variety of kits including the claret and sky blue house colours of Thames Iron Works, as well as sky blue or white uniforms.
The Irons permanently adopted claret and blue for home colours in the summer of 1899. Thames Ironworks right-half Charlie Dove received the kit from his father William Dove, who was a professional sprinter of national repute, as well as being involved with the coaching at Thames Ironworks. Bill Dove had been at a fair in Birmingham, close to Villa Park, the home ground of Aston Villa and was challenged to a race against four Villa players, who wagered money that one of them would win.
Bill Dove defeated them and, when they were unable to pay the bet, one of the Villa players who was responsible for washing the team's kit offered a complete side's 'uniforms' to Dove in payment. The Aston Villa player subsequently reported to his club that the kit was 'missing'.
Thames Ironworks, and later West Ham United, retained the claret yoke/blue sleeves design, but also continued to use their previously favoured colours for their away kits, and indeed, in recent years the club have committed to a dark blue-white-sky blue rotation for the away colours.
On 2 March 2007, West Ham announced their new kit supplier will be UMBRO for the next 3 seasons and on 7 June 2007, West Ham announced their new kit sponsor will be XL.com (XL Leisure Group).
The original club crest was a crossed pair of rivet hammers; tools commonly used in the iron and shipbuilding industry. A castle was later (circa 1903/4) added to the crest and represents a prominent local building, Green Street House, which was known as "Boleyn Castle" through an association with Anne Boleyn. The manor was reportedly one of the sites at which Henry VIII courted his second queen, though in truth there is no factual evidence other than the tradition of rumour.
The castle may have also been added as a result of the contribution made to the club by players of Old Castle Swifts, or even the adoption (in 1904) of Boleyn Castle FC as their reserve side when they took over their grounds on the site.
The crest was redesigned and updated by London design agency Springett Associates in the late 1990s, featuring a wider yellow castle with fewer cruciform "windows" along with the peaked roofs being removed the tops of the towers that had previously made it appear more akin to Disneyland Sleeping Beauty's Castle than a functioning fortress. The designer also altered shape of the hammer heads, border and other small changes in order to give a more substantial feel to the iconography.
When the club redesigned the facade of the stadium (construction finished 2001/02) the 'castle' from the later badge was incorporated into the structure at the main entrance to the ground. A pair of towers are now prominent features of the grounds appearance, both bearing the clubs modern insignia (which is also located in the foyer, and other strategic locations).