We’ve always had a soft-spot for Bristol Rovers.
Rovers’ shirts are instantly recognisable thanks to their blue and white quarters which until fairly recently, were almost unique in the world of football kit design.
The challenge for any kit manufacturer at a time when new shirts are required each and every season, is how do you make enough of a difference each year to keep things fresh but remain on the right side of club traditions?
Since the 1970s, Rovers home colours have largely stayed safe and true to those quarters without too many deviations from the classic design.
However, for the 1996/97 season, the Pirates wore a design that saw each of its quarters broken by stripes, the result of which being a shirt that became known as the “Tesco bag kit.”
Italian manufacturers Macron are one of those firms who seem to work to a club’s brief rather than foisting a template onto each kit, where only the team colours, sponsor’s logo and badges change between different clubs.
Macron’s new Gas Heads kits have deconstructed the 2 blue sections of the shirt with white lines interrupting the blocks of colour.
For traditionalists, this may prove to be a “WTF” moment (to put it mildly) but for fans who crave a difference from kit designs where only the collar and sponsor change each season; Macron’s kits will prove popular and may inspire future Rovers kits.
For our eyes, the new shirts certainly tick many boxes:
- bespoke, individual design ✔
- classic collar ✔
- clean sleeves ✔
- generous cut for the more curvaceous supporter ✔
The last one being most important of course.
The effect of white quarters bleeding into the blue gives an impression of speed, however, for our money, there is a little too much white on show to make this a great Bristol Rovers shirt.
Of course, part of what makes a football kit live long in the memory is the presence of a winning team to play in it, which is more for Pirates boss Darrell Clarke to be concerned about than Macron.
If Rovers should be able to forge some League One success or a run in one of the cups, the differences in this season’s kits may be fondly remembered at the Memorial Ground in years to come.
All new kit images are from http://www.BristolRovers.co.uk and JMP UK