One of the most unique and interesting kits in world football belongs to Dutch club SC Heerenveen – just don’t ever tell their fans they have hearts on their shirts.
Sportclub Heerenveen hail from the coastal region of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, a largely rural province famous for cows, horses and very tall people.
The originality of their kit and badge takes its inspiration from the region’s flag, and it’s only right that we tell you that those are not hearts on SC Heerenveen’s shirts; they are waterlily leaves.
Let’s face it folks, it’s an easy mistake for the untrained eye to make.
Anyone uninitiated with the heritage, culture and traditions of SC Heerenveen and the Friesland region may be unaware as to the significance of those red waterlily leaves that represent the region’s seven districts.
De Superfriezen as they are known, are proud protectors of the province’s heritage and play the Frisian anthem before each game at the Abe Lenstra Stadion, apart from in European competitions where UEFA have decreed that they can only sing it from the stands.
European campaigns have become a regular fixture, with their best Eredivisie performance coming in 1999/2000 when they were runners-up to PSV Eindhoven, though the club’s finest hour arguably came in 2009 when they lifted the KNVB Cup in Rotterdam.
Fans of Heerenveen count FC Groningen and SC Cambuur as rivals and those waterlily leaves on blue stripes have been worn by past masters including Ruud van Nistelrooy and Abe Lenstra; the man reckoned to be the greatest player in the club’s history.
So there you have it. They’re waterlily leaves and definitely not hearts.