The team is complete. An odd bunch including three aborted blue & white shirts (when will they learn), a number of prototypes, a mystery shirt from Norway, a hatchet job and a player’s own top he wore in a match. These are the ones that should never have appeared on the holy Molineux turf plus some that didn’t and never got beyond proof of concepts. Some of these almost… almost lost to the mists of time because they were worn out of necessity, were created as one-offs or were swiftly cancelled.
Following is these sacrilegious shirts, these tortuous tops, these abnormal adornments… or the Wolves ‘Oddities 11’ Drumroll please but in the meantime, if you spot some more shirts that belong here don’t despair – we need subs – leave a comment below or contact us via the form link at the top of the page.
- (G) Mark Kendall’s Sondico training shirt
- (LB) Admiral prototype with thick gold and black stripes
- (RB) Proof of concept/pre-production Scoreline Good Year shirt
- (CB) Blue and White Doritos shirt used for one pre-season match
- (CB) Awful blue and white striped Burrda monstrosity
- (LM) Team of the week ‘FIAT’ shirt
- (CM) Mystery version of 62-72 shirt with gold collar
- (CM) ‘Lescott’ prototype with striped sleeves 10
- (RM) Robert Plant 70s prototype shirt
- (ST L) 72-73 shirt with hacked-out collar
- (ST R) Scoreline prototype with white collar
(G) Mark Kendall’s Sondico training shirt
The time a player wore his own shirt onto the pitch.
My absolute favourite Wolves collecting story in ages, as told to me by Steve Plant. Don’t fancy wearing the club-supplied shirt on the pitch? Wear your own. You wouldn’t see that happening nowadays – read more on the 1988 goalkeeper shirt by Sondico (Mark Kendall’s personal).
(LB) Admiral prototype with thick gold and black stripes
Shoring up the defence in true Super Mo style is an unusual prototype shirt that has featured in Steve Plant’s stable. A black and gold striped number from Admiral in 2000 that never saw light of day due to Wolves going down the home-made route.
(RB) Proof of concept/pre-production Scoreline Good Year shirt
at first glance you may think is just the very short-lived Scoreline version of iconic 1990-92 Goodyear shirt. Look more closely though – this seems to be a concept development shirt that is unlike the finished versions we have seen previously.
(CB) Blue and White Doritos shirt used for one pre-season match
We have Peter Crump, a font of Wolves knowledge, to thank for this one. A specially-commissioned shirt that was only worn once in a pre-season friendly? Don’t mind if we do.
Read more on the 2001-2002 pre-season ‘one-off’ by Admiral shirt blog entry.
(CB) Awful blue and white striped Burrda monstrosity
A wise man once said that “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Well truth be told it was actually the bloke in Jurassic Park but the point remains. A fellow Wolves supporter accused me of inventing this (like I have the time or manufacturing capability) but yep this was a thing. Read more on the 2012-13 (unproduced prototype) blog entry.
(LM) Team of the week ‘FIAT’ shirt
The car manufacturer FIAT, sponsored a team of the week during the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons. The teams that won it were presented with their shirt with a ‘Fiat’ logo attached. Wolves won it in 1983 and were presented with it after a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion v Wolves, 26th November 1983 (video of that match below). They also received a load for the youth team to wear, emblazoned with the same logo and they turned up in a few programme photos over the next few seasons.
(RM) Robert Plant 70s prototype shirt
Here is a stripe-panted Robert Plant in a shirt that may be the only one in existence, and which has only been seen in two sets of photos. First up is Mr Plant enjoying a kick around while on tour in the States:
Secondly, on an evening out in New Orleans in this photo dated at 14 May 1973. Hopefully it was washed at some point between the two photos being taken:
Similarly to the 1977 prototype 70s Umbro shirt we covered not long ago, this appears to be a concept Umbro shirt that uses a different style diamond piping on the arms, classic Airtex material and combination with the older ‘WW’ non-stacked logo and the larger Umbro logo. Those who I have asked believe that this would have been gifted to a Mr Plant by a senior person at the club and due to its rarity, the fact it is most likely a one-off and it being modelled by a rock God means that this is a ‘holy grail’ for Wolves shirt collectors. If anyone ever produced a retro-style one of these they could be onto a winner.
(CM) Mystery version of 62-72 shirt with gold collar
A bit of a mystery shirt. This one was provided by Odin Henrikssen, who recently showed us his fantastic 1962-1972 home shirt.
That’s a bit weird innit? Read more about the 1971(?) alternate gold trim home shirt
(CM) ‘Lescott’ prototype with striped sleeves 10
Sitting alongside is another protoype shirt provided by friend of the blog Steve Plant:
It was prepared by Admiral towards the end of the 2003 and is a concept shirt for the following season that shows how close we came to a rounded collar with stripes (yes, we know) on the sleeves. We quite like it actually.
(ST L) 72-73 shirt with hacked-out collar
This one confused Wolves supporters and shirt collectors for decades. On 18 August 1973 Wolves took on Arsenal in front of 21,038 supporters at Highbury in the FA Cup Third-fourth place match. This short-lived idea was introduced in 1970 and the matches were only played for five seasons. The more observant Wolves fans of the day might have noticed something different about their team as they ran out 3-1 winners. A new-style plain collar that looked like this:
…rather than the usual black ‘v’ insert they had grown accustomed to seeing:
It had been a source of debate for some years whether this was a not seen before variant manufactured for warm weather OR an existing shirt with the black ‘bib’ cut out. We were always of the opinion it was the latter – if you zoom in on the (admittedly low-resolution footage from that day, you can see it looks… a little bit raggedy:
Wolves collector Steve Plant has done some research into this and we can now answer definitively:
That 72-73 shirt is the standard one with the V neck cut out… in some games they wore a mixture of both
So there you go – who took up the scissors (and indeed why) may be lost in the mists of time but at least we now know. We would love to see one in the flesh though if anyone stumbles across one.
(ST R) Scoreline prototype with white collar
Rounding out our starting 11 is this effort from Scoreline:
If you ever wanted a ‘Waterloo blue’ shirt with a white collar with dashes and dots on it, you came mighty close. This is otherwise seemingly the same as the Standard 90-92 shirt by Scoreline although interestingly an closer look shows it has proper embossed felt badges:
…unlike the early 90-92 home shirt concept development shirt by Scoreline which was silk-screen printed. This indicates that the away shirt was developed after the home one, once they had moved away from the concept stages.