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Hammers launch new third kit

Filed: Friday, 1st September 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have launched their new third kit, based upon the very first shirt worn by the club.

The new offering is a pure sky blue shirt accompanied by white shorts and black socks, which is based upon the kit originally worn by West Ham's predecessors, Thames Ironworks FC, between 1897 to West Ham United's founding in 1900 when the club continued to wear the same colours.

The sky blue shirt originated from a local team called Old Castle Swifts - the first professional football club in Essex - who also wore white shorts and "scarlet stockings" (according to a newspaper report).

In 1895 the Swifts went bankrupt after just three years in business and many of the players moved to Arnold Hills' newly formed Thames Ironworks FC, who originally wore dark blue jerseys before adopting the Swifts' colours - as you can see in the following image.

Thames Ironworks FC wearing Castle Swifts sky blue shirts, pre-1900

West Ham continued to wear the sky blue shirt until 1903, when the club switched to the modern configuration of claret and blue, a combination of Thames Ironworks' corporate colour and the old Castle Swifts kit.

In 1923 the club adopted the crossed Hammers crest which may be seen on the new replica kit. It was worn for the first time by members of that season's FA Cup Final team.

* In 2009 KUMB member Ironworx conducted extensive research into the colours and early kits worn by Thames Ironworks and West Ham United, which you may read here.

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