These days, many lower league clubs wear standard template kits from some of the world’s leading brands such as Nike, Puma and Adidas rather than take a risk on unknown, quirky outfits produced by back street factories in the north of England. This was not always the case, as is demonstrated by this unique example from the early 80’s.
Sheffield United had plummeted through the four divisions during the late 70’s but as they hit rock bottom in 1981, the switch to this Hobott produced kit changed The Blades’ fortunes. Hobott – or House of Barrington Official Teamster Top – supplied several clubs during this era. The Sheffield-based company weren’t subscribers to a particular trend and were certainly not advocates of the old adage ‘less is more’ as we can see in this fabulous yellow and burgundy/brown number.
Bentley’s sponsorship logo is innovatively set vertically down the right part of the chest rather than in the traditional horizontal format, while the Sheffield United crest is placed large in the centre and then repeatedly and smaller down the first and third darker stripe.
With this as their away kit, the Bramall Lane side won the fourth division title in 1981-82 and consolidated the following season in Division Three. The following year they achieved promotion again.
United players such as Stewart Houston, Keith Edwards, Tony Kenworthy and John McPhail ran out for manager Ian Porterfield’s side on their way to the Division Four title
Classic Retro shirts are now available from Campo Retro www.camporetro.com