Here’s a decent shirt that may just have passed you by in the rush of new kits released for the 2021-22 season.
Unbelievably, it’s now 20 years since Southampton left The Dell for the comfortable surroundings of their St Mary’s home, and Ralph Hasenhüttl’s boys will wear a very special tribute to both grounds in the form of this season’s third shirt.
Replacing the hit-and-miss Under Armour, old favourites Hummel make a welcome return to the Saints’ line-up and have immediately set about applying those crowd-pleasing details they’re known for to Southampton’s strips.
At first glance, this black third shirt with red accents seems like fairly standard stuff, but closer inspection reveals an all-over embossed graphic featuring blueprints of The Dell and St Mary’s across the material.
Hummel had been a fixture at The Dell between 1987 and 1991, with their kits worn by Saints heroes including Matt Le Tissier, Rod Wallace and Alan Shearer and we’re only sad to see that 30 years on; they have a far uglier sponsor than “Draper Tools” to contend with.
The subtle details that elevate this above more ordinary black shirts continues with the names of stands from both grounds printed into the hem of the shirt.
This anniversary present to old friends, carries over to the classy, retro-inspired home and away shirts.
The famous red and white stripes are faithfully reproduced along with some augmented reality trickery which apparently comes to life when a mobile phone is waved near the jersey – we’ll take their word for it!
As for the away, the Saints’ traditional yellow and blue change colours are given a twist to mimic the flaming Admiral design that followed the end of Hummel’s last stint on the South Coast.
Hummel are known for allowing their clubs to have an increased level of creative control and overall, Southampton fans will be pleased with these results and the neat way they’ve paid tribute to stomping grounds old and new.
Our pick of the bunch remains that black third shirt with all the subtle nostalgia it provides.