TUFC KITS OF THE 2000s by Pete Stringer

TT TALKING POINTS

Pete Stringer – @TUFCshirts

Pete takes a look back at some of our best kits of the 00s

12 months ago Torquay had just released the palm tree shirts and I was having a dig around the back of the wardrobe ready to take a trip down memory lane looking at our shirts from the 90s. I picked out my top 5 of that decade and shared some thoughts. (link here – https://torquaytalk.com/2020/09/28/from-todays-palm-trees-back-to-the-nineties/ )

Fast forward to season 21/22, the palm trees have been updated for the clean, sharp lines of the current Nike Trio. It’s not those I’m passing comment on, it’s a review of my top 5 from the 00’s. A decade that saw an amazing last day escape at Barnet (never again Bateson said), two promotions, two relegations along with two trips to Wembley. Never a dull moment following the Gulls huh?

A quick totting up, I think we wore 14 different shirts in the 00’s, those were the days kits got updated every couple of seasons. Funny to think if you add the recent blackout shirts that’s pretty much the same number we’ve had in the last four years. The 00s saw us use three suppliers, kicking off where we left the 90s with Super League onto TFG and finally Vandanel. In truth I don’t think those manufactures were much cop but they were the staple diet of the lower league clubs of the time. The 90s saw some pretty crazy designs with diamonds and swirls a plenty. By the 00s things seemed to have calmed down a bit, maybe the decline of the acid house, rave scene caught up with the designers. The 00s was definitely played much safer. Favourite football shirts are pretty subjective, after all rivalries alone would put you off many and even with your own club you’re bound to like those more that evoke great memories. All said here’s my top 5 (in date order).

1 – 2000-01 Away by Super League

I initially picked this shirt for the amazing memories of the last day of the season game at Barnet. What a barmy day that was, a full house, fans locked out and climbing trees just to get a view. Shirts at the time had a baggy cut, it wasn’t only Jason Rees that looked like he was wearing a tent. It’s a solid design, although a bit strange to have some much yellow in an away kit. Davey Graham scored some bangers wearing this one!

The next season (01/02) this design was made by TFG with a change of sponsorship to Sparkworld.

Score: 7/10

TUFC Shirts 5

2 – 2003-05 Home by Vandanel

A big favourite after it’s amazing first season see us achieve automatic promotion. Hordes of Gulls fans made the long trip to Southend on the last day in hope rather than expectation. We all know the end result, news coming in from Whaddon Road Cheltenham meant we’d done it. Cue the celebrations and Leroy having to get the team bus to make a stop on the way home to pick up the beers.

The shirt seemed much thicker than those before it, despite the fact the material had an airtex feel to it. Even the collar stayed true unlike other shirts that ended up all over shop, much like an average 3rd division defender of the era.

Such as shame a combination of around 47 results on the last day of the following season meant the gulls went straight back down.

Score: 9/10

TUFC Shirts 2

3 – 2003-04 Away by Vandanel

The black and white stripes of this away shirt mirror those of the United colours from the 1920s to mid-1950s when Yellow and Blue was deemed more appropriate to match the sand and sea of the bay. It’s very similar to this years 3rd kit, both I think are really smart. Nice yellow trim on the collar and sleeves

This was the away kit that saw heroes like Woods, Taylor, Russell & Hill gain that automatic promotion. The absolute highlight of an outing for this kit must have been the 1-0 win at the KC Stadium. Hull City were top of the division, the Gulls came to town and recorded a win thanks to the yellow goal machine Martin Gritton which silenced the majority of the 15,000 crowd. At the other end of the scale the 4-0 defeat in black and white at Boston was a rare hiccup that season.

We wore the same black and white stipes in the previous season, albeit made by TFG and with an embroidered badge vs a patch badge on the Vandanel version.

Score: 8.5/10

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4 – 2008-09 Away by Vandanel

Carlisle checks instead, he’s looking for Benyon…. SILLS!!!!

This shirt will always take me back to this Wembley commentary, what a way to end a 2 year spell out of the Football League. We also wore it in the previous game, that backs to wall 2nd leg play-off game away at Histon. WHAT a save from Poke that day to set up the Wembley return, 12 months after the Trophy defeat to Ebbsfleet.

A one season wonder for this shirt, really nice simple design but a shocking collar.

Score: 8/10

sills
Photo courtesy of Herald Express

5 – 2009-11 Home by Vandanel

After a couple of Conference years in an amber shade of Yellow it’s back to the Football League and a vivid yellow kit. We had one year of City Link Builders shirt sponsorship and straight back with Sparkworld and thank god for that. Imagine life without that TV advert where Nicho looks totally bemused why he’s found a football in a fridge freezer and little Danny Stevens considering climbing in a washing machine. Google ‘Sparkworld’s Torquay advert’ if you’ve not seen it, you might regret it!

The shirt is decent, still with the embroidered club badge and golden panel down each side. This home one was a really good pairing with the white away version. It’s first league outing saw us win at home with goals from Manse and Scotty Rendell, who would have thought 12 years later he’d be scoring for Havant & Waterlooville against us for another Gulls lower league opponent FA Cup defeat, Bleddy ex-players always haunting us!

This last game in this shirt was the Old Trafford play-off final, we’re out of the Noughties now so I’m not going there….

Score: 8/10

TUFC Shirts 4

 

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