Spanish club to celebrate 90th anniversary in tuxedo kit
A percentage of the profits made from the strip will go to charity
Other clubs have designed kits that embody pints of beer and octopuses
When celebrating an important anniversary, it’s always good to look your best.
At least that’s the theory behind the latest kit for Spanish football team Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa, whose players donned a somewhat special uniform for a preseason tournament Wednesday.
A cross between formal evening-wear and a sporting outfit, the tuxedo-esque strip was specially designed by Danish firm Hummel to celebrate the third division side’s 90th birthday.
The club will give 10% of the proceeds to charities for mining families based in the region of Leon where it is based, while local children will also receive free football kits and coaching classes.
Fan reaction has been mixed since last week’s preview, says Hummel’s marketing manager Henning Nielsen, but the jersey has garnered worldwide attention for a team which has only once graced Spain’s top flight – back in the 1955-56 season.
“The club wanted to help the mining industry in the region, which is having some really tough times,” Nielsen told CNN.
“We wanted to go in and explore the club’s heritage and find what has local character, and incorporate that into the design.
“The club is celebrating its 90-year anniversary, so instead of having a formal reception with wine and drinks and snacks the club decided to do something … another way with a bit of character.”
The concept of designing a special-edition football kit to carry a special message is far from a new one – especially in Spain.
In 2000, Deportivo Alaves released a shirt that featured the name of every season ticket-holder at the club to show solidarity between the then top-flight team and its fans.
Second division club Deportivo Lugo, meanwhile, has released two special-edition kits for the coming preseason that take the appearance of a glass of beer and an octopus – two delicacies of the Galicia region in northwest Spain where the side is based.
La Hoya Lorca has played the last two Segunda B seasons in a broccoli-style shirt which is said to represent the southern Murcia region’s reputation for growing vegetables.
Even some of Spain’s most famous clubs, like Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, have gotten in on the act.
Last season Barca’s away kit was based on the Catalan flag, while Bilbao’s 2011-12 away strip reflected the Basque flag and a few years earlier its “spilled blood” shirt was designed by a local artist whose work features in the city’s Guggenheim Museum.
Click through the gallery above to view the most eye-catching football shirts over the years.
Which do you think are the world’s best and worst sporting kits? Have your say in the comments box below.