Wales are through to the semifinals of Euro 2016. My international football allegience is England (and a bit of Ireland on the side) so while I feel happy a British team has made it this far I would much prefer it to be England.
On that note, let me celebrate by discussing one of my favourite football kits of all time, worn by the Welshmen beginning in 1976:
Manufactured by Admiral, who were making a name for themselves by radically redesigning traditional kits and trademarking them to allow clubs to sell official replicas to supporters, the kit utilised their “tramline” template also favoured by Coventry City. The result was this striking, modern, beautifully Welsh ensemble from the Leicester-based company. While a template, the tramline pattern, at least to me, evokes the flute of the daffodil. Whether or not this was intentionally selected for that reason is unknown but once you see it you can’t unsee it. Generally produced in cotton, an Aertex version was also made for hot weather. On the pitch, the kit saw generally positive fortunes- Wales qualified for Euro 76 and beat England at Wembley the following year- which probably helped cement the kit’s iconic status in the eyes of Welsh fans and replicas can still be seen to this day on the terraces.
By 1980, Admiral were struggling financially and fell out of favour with most teams, including Wales who switched to Adidas. They have staged various comebacks since then but none have been as successful as their 70s heyday. They now offer decently-priced sportswear through several outlets (I recently became the proud owner of an Admiral tracksuit top with the logo piping on the arms) and supply the official kit for League 1 newcomers AFC Wimbledon.
I love football kit design, so I plan to write some more articles on the subject in the near future. Until then though, hwyl fawr!