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Story behind the kit: Explaining third kit designs and details

July 28, 2021 1:17 am

Crystal Palace’s newly-released third kit is a special edition design that celebrates the club’s 160-year-old origins.

It is based on the colours and design worn by the first team from the Crystal Palace Club, with a sky blue and white half-and-half pattern and a range of subtle touches to commemorate our history.

Here’s what you need to know on the new third kit, celebrating 160 years of Crystal Palace.

THE CLAIM

In April 2020, Crystal Palace staked a claim to being the world’s oldest league club in existence still playing professional football after new research found a direct connection to the team established in 1861, who were founder members of the Football Association.

Historian Peter Manning showed how the Crystal Palace Company formed a football club in 1861 to keep its cricketers fit in the winter months. This club went on to become founder members of the FA and played organised matches between 1862-1875.

Crystal Palace stopped playing organised games in 1875 – likely due to the damage it caused the cricket pitches – but continued to play cricket. Football resumed in 1895 when the Crystal Palace Company built a stadium to host the FA Cup finals, but the amateur club failed to attract large enough crowds.

So a new limited company was set up to form a professional club in 1905, and the Crystal Palace Company bought enough shares to have a controlling interest – the same business which owned the side in 1861.

When the professional club published its first handbook in 1906, having joined Division 2 of the Southern League, it listed some of the internationals who had previously represented Crystal Palace, including Alex Morten in 1873 and Arthur Savage and Charles Eastlake Smith in 1876, showing that they recognised themselves as a continuation of the original amateur team.