We were pleasantly surprised to see Luton Town celebrate their Championship survival by releasing a fresh set of kits from new suppliers Umbro.
The Hatters sealed their Championship status last Wednesday night with a 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers and following the Premier League finale, they can now look forward to local derbies with bitter rivals Watford.
Puma had kitted-out the Kenilworth Road club for the past four seasons until Friday’s announcement of a new deal with Umbro, who return to Luton Town shirts for the first time since 1992.
A trio of Hatters kits in orange, white and navy have been released for the 2020-21 season, of which the dynamic, asymmetric away shirt is the pick of the bunch.
Cut from the same cloth as the last home kit worn by Luton in the English top-flight, the design is a modern take on a classic early-90s Umbro shirt that has a “Marmite” flavour for Hatters fans.
Luton had been in the First Division for 10 seasons, regularly upsetting bigger clubs in the tight surroundings of Kenilworth Road, and their kits received the attention reserved for one of the country’s most established sides.
Their 1991-92 kit featured a white shirt with blue sides and sleeves, woven together with sparks of orange, whilst dynamic ribbons danced across the design like some kind of rhythmic gymnast.
Meanwhile, sponsors Universal Salvage Auctions’ “USA” logo, harmoniously placed in Hatters’ colours, continued the feel of a kit that looked like it had been lifted straight out of NASA’s space development program.
This was a kit so radical that it should rightfully have been considered a “Club Classic,” yet many of Town’s fans were not ready for such a departure from Umbro’s previous, fairly plain white home shirts.
The further issue that this Luton Town side managed by David Pleat, featuring Chris Kamara, Brian Stein and top-scorer Mick Harford, were ultimately relegated in the shirts means that many fans just don’t want to be reminded of that last First Division season.
Having flirted with brilliant orange at various points in their history, Luton have since adopted the more individual and brighter tone as their home colours, but regularly return to white for their away kits.
If anything, we’d have liked to have seen more blue, but this is the kind of design that makes supporters who grew up with vivid, expressive kits in the 1990s very happy indeed, and certainly leaves us wanting to see more from Umbro and Luton Town.