One of our favourite sets of English non-league kits from the 2020-21 season belongs to Margate and these chaotic shirts sponsored by The Libertines.
The collection of home, away and goalkeeper shirts are the result of a collaboration between O’Neills and local artist and Margate Football Club creative director, Luke McLean.
Each design channels the chaotic, energetic spirit of The Libertines and splashes it onto a polyester canvas, with the name of perhaps their greatest song, Time For Heroes, included above the badge for a crowd-pleasing little encore.
The club’s blue home shirts look like the graffitied walls of a music venue’s toilets under the glow of UV lights, whilst the swirling Jackson Pollock style away shirts in pink really suits the band’s logo.
The Libertines have a close association with Margate having opened the doors to their Albion Rooms hotel, bar and restaurant this year, and they’ve backed the Gate since 2018.
Pete Doherty lives in the seaside town which has seen an artistic renaissance after the Turner Contemporary gallery opened in 2011.
Margate FC are no strangers to musical endorsement and once upon a time they were supported by Bad Manners, but the essence of excess seen here is probably the closest we’ll come to a true rock ‘n’ roll football shirt.
Margate’s general manager Deny Wilson told the club website:
“Luke has done a fantastic job in designing four incredible shirts that reflect our twist on The Libertines’ style. We hope the shirt is something our supporters will enjoy wearing with pride alongside fans of the band worldwide.”
So far, these shirts have been sold to Margate fans old and new in 23 countries, with Luke McLean and O’Neills succeeding in generating a much needed boost in profile and revenue at a time when the current Isthmian Premier Division season is on hold, and attendances at Hartsdown Park have been limited for much of the year.
If this was a Time for Heroes, then they certainly answered the call.