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Reading FC Pre-Madejski Stadium Home Kits World Cup 1891-1938 v 1983-84

In our penultimate first round tie, we have our first all non-hooped contest. Will you vote for our kit of 47 years or a one season wonder?


The Biscuitmen first wore navy and white stripes in 1891. Apart from one season, this would be our kit for the next 47 years. It would be interesting to know what the reaction was to the decision to move to our now traditional blue and white hoops.

1926/27 team photo

Credit: Chris Lee

The various versions of this kit saw Reading progress from a Southern League side to one fighting in the second tier of English football. In that time we reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and won the Third Division South Cup.

Centre half Alf Messer was probably the star player during this time. That many fans may never have heard of him, let alone be able to identify him in the photo above, is a sad indictment of how Reading FC's pre-WW2 history has been neglected. I only hope that the 150th anniversary of the club's formation is used as a chance for us to embrace this era before it becomes left to history like those who were part of and witnessed it.


Being born in the late 1980s I don't know why Reading decided to ditch the hoops in 1983. If anyone has the answer I would love to know.

The new Argentina design we adopted could be considered controversial given that it happened just a year after the Falklands War. This doesn't really look like a Reading kit, but is still a nice kit. It is our only kit to date made by Umbro and local radio station Radio 210 was the sponsor.

This kit was worn for only one season, as we won promotion from Division Four, before we moved to the more well known Ajax style kit. We have never since worn stripes or played in the fourth tier. I'm perfectly happy for both of those to stay true.

1983-84 team photo

Credit: Chris Lee

The final day for voting will be 11 June.

If you have enjoyed seeing these wonderful historic photos please do check out Chris Lee's excellent website which is an absolute treasure trove of material for Reading fans.