Strangely, when Adidas took over the contract to supply the Brighton kit from the 1980/81 season onwards, they did not sell replicas of the yellow away kit.
It took until the 21st century for the club to issue a remake of this polyester wonder for the club shop, but understandably it came without the trefoil on the breast and the classic adidas stripes down the sleeves. However, this was addressed in a Thailand factory somewhere as this effort did the rounds on eBay a few years ago:
Although the collar was not as flared as the original, it was a pretty faithful rendition. The most glaring error is that it was ‘British Caledonian Airways’ for the change shirt, not just ‘British Caledonian’. If you want to be extra picky, the type of the sponsors’ logo was also not in bold, which is how it was in the Thai version. A good effort, nevertheless.
The kit was usually combined with yellow shorts and yellow socks, and very smart it looked too, especially on a sunny day. Sometimes, though, blue shorts and socks were worn instead:
At the time of the launch of the kit, Football League clubs were not allowed to wear shirt sponsors on televised matches apart from local news. This led an incident where ITV could not show highlights of Aston Villa’s match with Brighton in October 1980, as the Seagulls sought to protect their sponsorship interests. As the Brighton v Middlesbrough programme said:
There was controversy before the match when ATV, the Midlands ITV company, wanted to film the game, to show highlights the following evening in a two-minute news sequence. The Albion were however clad in the yellow ‘British Caledonian’ shirts and after a ‘phone call between Alan Mullery and Gary Newbon, the TV presenter, it was clear that the game could to be shown. Albion were well within their rights to refuse to change, other than for a featured game and ATV felt that the regulations would not allow the showing.
Minus a shirt sponsor, the all-yellow kit combination made the cover of Rothmans Football League Players Records 1946-1981:
However, it got its best exposure at the FA Cup Semi-Final between Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday. It even outlasted the home version, as it was worn for a few matches in the 1983/84 when the new white away kit did not provide enough contrast at the likes of Bristol Rovers and Blackburn.
Chelsea’s new away kit is a great tribute ….
Gosh, you’re right!