While several of the world’s largest soccer teams call London home, none is more prestigious than the Chelsea Football Club. They may be pros at soccer, but their real skill is the art of winning. The team has won the Premier League five times compared to its crosstown rival, Arsenal, which has won three. They were also the last English team to win the Champions League in 2012.
Founded in 1905 above the Rising Sun pub, the team has been delighting fans for over a hundred years. As they look forward to another glorious chapter to their already impressive record this season, let’s look back at the different kits they’ve sported while crafting the club’s history.
Blue Is the Color
While they are known as the Blues by their supporters, these Lions of London originally took the field in a green-colored kit for the first two seasons. After 1907, however, they adopted the iconic royal blue color and never looked back. Only slight modifications were made aside from sock colors before 1930 when the first major change came into place: a white collar. This long-sleeve, blue-colored, and white-collared home kit wouldn’t change again until the 1950s, when another small tweak was made, replacing the long sleeves with short sleeves.
These changes ushered in more over the next several seasons when the club began experimenting with V-neck and scoop-neck collars, adding the club’s crest on the left breast but never changing the color. In the 1970s, they did experiment with multiple accent colors, including yellow and orange.
This was also the decade when the club picked up its first official kit manufacturer Umbro from 1975 to 1981 and then again from 1987 to 2006. Several large companies such as Coors saw the value of being a kit sponsor for the club during this period. One of the club’s biggest legends, Italian forward Gianfranco Zola, wore this jersey as he set several records during his time at Chelsea.
The last decade of the Chelsea kits and maybe their most iconic was synonymous with two names: Adidas and Samsung. Their unprecedented Champions League victory over Bayern Munich in TKTK saw the Adidas/Samsung jersey sported by some of the world’s best players – Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and John Terry. It’s hard to imagine Chelsea players wearing anything else onto the pitch. But times change, Chelsea has been sponsored by Yokohama since 2015, and they will soon wear Nike jerseys.
Champions of England
Even though it’s hard to repeat as Premier League champions, the team has hoisted the trophy two of the last three seasons. Will Chelsea be able to defend their title at home and win abroad this season? Supporters can only hope. But even if it doesn’t come to pass, fans can look the part thanks to officially licensed merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.com.