SHIRT TALES - A Selection of recent Saints Shirts and Information by Alex Service.

1976 Challenge Cup Final

A classic jersey design, made of cotton, with a plain red vee, stitched onto the torso. Manufactured by Bukta, this had the Town crest and 'Wembley 1976' underneath. The shirt was worn and signed by Eddie Cunningham, who scored Saints' first try against Widnes in that famous Dad's Army final. Not a sponsor in sight!

1981-83 Change

An almost French-influenced design, this one, with its mixture of royal blue, with a red and white vee very distinguished. Made by Umbro, with the Town crest and traditional 'rugby' collar, this is an extremely heavyweight jersey, match-worn in the 1982 Lancashire Cup Final against Warrington. Bad memories indeed!

1985-87 Change

A radical design for the times, this was match-worn by Neil Holding in the 1985 Premiership Final against Hull KR. Made of cotton, by Umbro, it features the club's first jersey sponsors – St.Helens Glass – and the ‘varsity blue' colours were re-visited for the Saints' away kit of 2005. Notice the famous 'stickman' emblem and the three-quarter length sleeves, with the 'vee' more of a chevron, extending into the arms. The manufacturer's logo is on both shoulders.

1985-87 Home

A deep 'flattened' vee typified this cotton jersey, made by Umbro. The threequarter-length sleeves with red trim and the stickman logo are features of this match-worn gem. There is an extra logo above the printed shirt sponsor, St.Helens Glass. Both manufacturer's logo and club crest are included in the vee. Notice the 'wear and tear' caused by shoulder pads!

1985 New Zealand Tour

The best-ever? A one-off special for the ground-breaking tour, match-worn by Neil Holding. The classic pointed vee has the club's 'Stickman' and manufacturers logo integrated into the design. It is the only time that Pilkington's have sponsored the shirt, making it even rarer. The Pilkington logo can also be seen above the company name. The three-quarter length sleeves and red arms give this a really special look.

1991-93 Away

An acrylic affair, continuing the Saints' tradition for a blue-tinged change jersey for playing away. This match-worn example features a traditional collar, with short sleeves and a somewhat confusing 'distended vee' design. The Rugby League logo is worn on the sleeves, which have been 'chopped' to make it more comfortable. The manufacturer's name, Umbro, is printed opposite the club crest, with the sponsor's name prominent in blue letters. A design classic? Perhaps not, although we did beat Wigan in the 1993 Premiership Final wearing this jersey!

1991-94 Home

This was the club's first 'acrylic' lighter, 'slippery when wet' jersey, made by Umbro for new sponsors McEwans Lager. A slightly controversial design, where the chevron (if you can call it that) came down to three-quarter length, this match-worn example features the Rugby League and manufacturer's logo on both sleeves. The wearer (Tea Ropati) has cut off the sleeves to make it more comfortable. The shirt has a traditional collar, with the club crest on the left-hand side.

1994/95 Away

The Stag company, from Heckmondwyke, took over the manufacturer's contract from Umbro, yet kept the main essentials of the previous season's design, featuring a white jersey with a dominantly blue series of vees, trimmed by black. The jersey sponsor, McEwans, is highlighted prominently in red, with the club badge represented with a shield surround. The manufacturer's logo has also been added to the sleeves, together with the Rugby League logo and extra blue and black trim. This match-worn shirt has a stitched-down collar and reinforced yoke.

1994/95 Home

Made by Stag, this match-worn shirt featured the red vee trimmed in black, with McEwan's Lager featuring prominently in blue. The Rugby League crest and manufacturer's logo are also found on the sleeves. The double-stitching around the yoke is typical of a match-worn item.

1996 Away

This is a player's shirt, once belonging to Phil Veivers, who never wore it in combat! Based on the previous year's Centenary design, this was the change jersey for the first Super League season in 1996. The name and squad number became a feature of jerseys in the Super League and this example features a grandad-style collar, with competition sponsors Stones Bitter and kit manufacturers Stag on the (short) sleeves. The main shirt sponsors (McEwan's Lager) are picked out prominently in red in this timeless classic!

1997 Challenge Cup Final

This was a spare player's shirt for the final and never fully numbered or named! The change from Stag to Mizuno brought with it some controversy, as the basic design of the jersey changed dramatically – not to everyone's taste! There was a new club logo, featuring the intertwined letters ‘S' and ‘H,' with a dominantly white facing vee, plus a black and red trellis background. The collar was ‘open' and more like a polo shirt. The manufacturer's logo and competition sponsors were also fixed on the sleeves. Notice the more prominent ‘McEwan's Lager in red. Below the club badge is the special print for the 100th Anniversary Final of the Challenge Cup. Definitely an acquired taste, although we did win at Wembley with it!

1999 Home

The Mizuno company veered away from black for their second ‘home' jersey, for the 1999 campaign. The red vee was more recognisable, although more rounded, extending onto the short sleeves. The red was highlighted by black pin stripes, with the club crest on a black background. The manufacturer's logo was more detailed, rather than just the ‘M' of the previous design. There was a new jersey sponsor, John Smith's and the competition sponsors, JJB were located as patches on both sleeves, in what had become the traditional Super League manner. The stitched-down collar was in the ‘soccer' style, although not unattractive. This was a spare player's shirt, numbered and named for Chris Joynt.

2000 Grand Final

An archetypal Saints' design! Made under the aegis of Y2K for the Millennium celebrations, this acrylic gem featured a flat red vee with the sponsors, St.Helens Glass underneath in royal blue – an effective layout! Notice the special inscription below the yoke for the 2000 Grand Final. Both club and manufacturer's logos are embedded onto the vee. This shirt was made up for the Final, but was never used. The sleeves are short, with the traditional competition sponsors appearing as patches. There is some red piping down the arms and the appearance of the first ‘collar' sponsor – Acacia.

2001 Home

The 2001 jersey bore many of the design hallmarks of its 2000 predecessor, although it was manufactured by the Exito company, whose name is featured at the bottom of the red vee. This short-sleeved acrylic classic was worn during the World Club Championship against Brisbane and remains a popular favourite. There are two club logos embedded in the vee – the ‘normal' club logo and the ‘Sporting Club' badge, now a thing of the past. There is an extra advertiser's logo for Bonfiglioli just above the vee, together with collar-sponsors Acacia. This was a player's shirt, identified by the double stitching around the collar.

2001 Away

Black-based Saints' jerseys never fail to arouse differing opinions and this was another, manufactured by Exito. It featured a fragmented Vee, with red and white flashes. The two club crests, for the Rugby League club and the Sporting club are featured on either side of the chest, with the jersey sponsor, St.Helens Glass, prominent in white. Minor sponsors Bonfiglioli are visible just below the yoke, with collar sponsors Acacia featured in blue. This is an acquired taste for many fans, but we did win the Challenge Cup Final in this design – so far the only time we have had to wear alternative colours in the Blue Riband of rugby league events!

2003 Home

Variations on a theme! This was the first jersey designed and made for the club by Puma and featured an effective 'triple vee' design, whilst still retaining the traditional Saints' look. A 'splayed' open collar, with short sleeves piped in red are other features. Notice the sponsors, Comodo, highlighted in black. The competition sponsors are prominent on the sleeve as patches, whilst club and manufacturer's crests are embedded into the vee. This is a First Team squad member's jersey. Notice how the jersey has been ‘tapered to fit,' making it different from the supporters' replica shirts.