The Kit Room 1877-1949

In the embryonic days of football, the only shirts worn were plain or hooped as technology hadn’t yet developed a way of making stripes. Saints first known colours were not black and white as today, but purple and blue in the style of thin hoops replicated in the 2012 third kit for the 135th anniversary of the club.


In 1883, Saints moved to black and white hoops, nobody knows for definite why this colour change that has lasted almost 140 years took place, but there has always been much speculation that it was due to the fact that the black and white cart waters form the River Cart, however it has never been satisfactorily explained.


1884 witnessed the black and white stripes for the first time on a shirt, which exactly what it was of course at that time, complete with buttons all the way down the front and at the cuff, but was accompanied by blue shorts and socks until 1901, giving the kit more of a jockey look than footballer.

At this point, Saints broke from the stripes for six years to play in a cream top, white shorts and blue socks. Thankfully, by 1907 someone on Saints board obviously developed a fashion sense, and for the very first time a black and white striped shirt with white shorts and black socks was produced, a formula that remained unbroken until 1944 when black shorts were used for the very first time, a shirt replicated by retro manufacturers Toffs.

The black shorts lasted until the summer of 1950 when white shorts returned.

The first five known Saints kits, taken from the website http://www.historicalkits.co.uk
Thomas Paton in 1907, the first ever year of a Saints kit similar to how we know it now; black and white stripes, white shorts and black socks. Paton had just signed from Sheffield United and would play over a century of matches before being sold to Airdrie in 1912.
An uncompromising looking William Duncan during 1912 in the first kit with a black and white collar, just before his transfer back to Airdrie.
William Lavery in the 1919/20 season wearing a plain white or cream shirt, which looks like the 1901-07 kit, perhaps used in emergencies as materials were short after World War I.
Dunky Walker in a traditional classy looking Saints shirt in 1922, which officially was not the home shirt that campaign. His tally of 56 goals in the 1920/21 season, including 45 in the league was a European record at the time. Walker was transferred to Nottingham Forest in 1923.
Denis Lawson in has last season at Saints in 1922 with a tie up collar shirt. He was transferred to Cardiff City the following campaign after 164 appearances for the club.
A sadly forgotten legend of the club, Alan Gebbie, in 1935. The midfielder won the Scottish Cup with Saints in 1926, and over 12 years played 331 times for the club scoring 55 goals.
Jimmy McGregor in the full 1935 classic Saints kit. McGregor would score 41 goals that season after Saints first ever relegation the previous campaign.
Patrick McCamon in the very smart kit from 1936/37, just before he moved to English football.
A young Robert Ferguson after signing for the club in 1936 from Hearts. He would stay at Saints until 1944, making over a century of appearances.
Robert Rankin during his second spell at Saints in 1938 with a tie up collar shirt. Rankin is one of only five players to score over a hundred goals for Saints, and also served as a director, before dying after a long illness in 1954 when he was in his ninth year as official club manager. Robert was only 49 years of age at the time and had spent 30 years at Saints.
Long serving Willie Kelly in 1938, he would leave the club at the end of WWII after 11 years at Paisley and almost 300 appearances, winning the Summer Cup in 1943.
The legendary captain Willie Telfer (aged just 24!) in 1949, wearing the long running 1944-1957 kit, this version without a badge. Telfer played 505 times for Saints including war time matches before being transferred to Rangers in 1957 after 16 years service at Paisley. Saints won the Scottish Cup the following season.
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