This is a really interesting one and is being covered separately from the main article as it falls distinctly into the oddity/rarity camp.
As covered previously…
…for the first few weeks of the 1990-1991 season (Aug-Sept 1990) Scoreline supplied the kit to Wolves. Only sold for first few weeks of the season, even the standard version has been described as the “holy grail” due to its rarity and scarcity driven by most of them being destroyed when being swapped for the Bukta replacement (such a waste).
One of the contributors to this very blog purchased this one after wanting one for years, thinking he getting his grail and was surprised to find that he actually had something rarer still – it turned out to be a ‘concept development’ shirt that is unlike the finished versions that have been seen previously and is likely the only one in existence.
Unlike the finished Scoreline and Bukta versions, this version has no felt logos for either the manufacturer or the team badge itself. Instead it is silk screen printed all over, which I have never seen on a shirt before. Silk screening is a very cheap and quick way to add detail to fabric. Instead of manufacturered logos which are heat applied or glued, a stenciling method that involves printing ink through stencils that are supported by a frame. Something you are more likely to see from hobbyists.
There is actually some disagreement between us on this one – the lucky gent who owns it believes that Scoreline originally started creating the shirts using this cheaper methodology until they were told to increase quality and introduced the felt embossed logos which were then carried over when Bukta picked up the production.
I on the other hand believe that this is actually a concept development shirt which was prototyped to show how the design and shirt sponsor would actually look. I do not believe that any shirt manufacturer would produce a shirt using silk screening method that is not as robust to bear multiple washes. I can’t believe Goodyear would be keen either. Which brings me to the reason I was excited to see these photos – this would have been the first time a Goodyear logo was ever applied to a Wolves shirt. I believe this was a brand new sponsor, being shown on a brand new shirt design for approval.
To support my view, even leaving aside the above, Look at the shorts it is paired which normally look like this:
- No drawstring (as was the case with the finished article as modelled by Bully)
- No label in the back
- Machine stitched but by hand (not mass manufactured)
- Random WWFC text printed on that I’ve not seen before.
PLUS look at the badge. I’m a firm believer that a Wolves badge infinitely improves any item of clothing but compare and contrast the following!
At the top we have the silk screened proto version which looks… not great. Not even a gap between the words. Next down is a retail release and bottom is an embroidered player-issue version. There is no way on this planet the club would have allowed the top one.
PLUS look closely and you’ll see some ink markings on the shirt that I believe are showing where adjustments would need to be made to base of collar height.
The gent who owns this was quite deflated, which is why I’m covering it, but seems happier now I pointed out that this is one of a kind. Whether prototype (as I believe) or a swiftly recalled to be improved release this shirt is probably the only one on earth, is part of Wolves’s history and, I think, certainly belongs in pride of place on our ‘Oddities 11’ line up as the only shirt we’ve even seen (or are likely to see) that was made in this fashion.