With Exeter City recently releasing their latest home kit for the 2020/21 season, there has never been a better time to look back at some of the classic ECFC shirts over the years and imagine how they might look in the modern era. In the first of a mini series, I’ll take a look back at 5 shirts Exeter wore between the club’s inception in 1904 up to the late 1920’s.
1904 – A Club is Born
As St. Sidwell’s United became the Exeter City we now all know and love, the Grecians adopted the Devonian colour of green for it’s kits. A colour which is all but banned from Exeter shirts these days due to connections with rivals Plymouth Argyle, City took the bold step of combining green with white in a half and half design.
Green and white are two colours seldom used on football kits these days and you can rather see why! The design from 1904 was obviously very basic and typical of its era. a simple design, it would look very simplistic in the modern day although with retro kits all the rage at the moment, it could be well received as a third shirt, if only it weren’t for that pesky Argyle green.
1906 – No Half Measures
After two years of donning half green and half white, the Grecians make a change, casting off the white and going with a solid green. I’ll forgive this basic effort given that it is the early 1900s that we’re talking about here but it’s pretty clear to see why green isn’t exactly in vogue for many football clubs.
When mocking this little number up, I couldn’t really leave it as a simple plain green so I’ve enlarged the club crest and used it as a watermark on the front of the shirt. Looking like a Norwich away shirt, I think that every City fan is glad that the club moved away from plain green. I do like a nice folded collar on retro football shirts but the move towards white shorts on this kit compared to the 1904 design represents a loss in character for me.
1910 – Green and Blacks
1910 rolls around and Exeter City wear a green shirt for the last time. This is more of an interesting design, with the inclusion of a white strap below the collar and the white sleeves with the green trim offering something different to the plain green effort previously.
I actually quite like this design. It combines simplicity with something slightly different and I could easily imagine a team using a design similar to this in the modern day. I would prefer black shorts with the green and white shirt but I am a big fan of the black socks with the white and green detailing at the top.
1913 – New Kit, Who Dis?
The 19teens begin and herald a new tradtion for Exeter City with the birth of red and white stripes. The Grecians ditch the colour of their Devonian rivals and adopt an Exonian red, with a style that has lasted right up to the present day.
This design is stripes at it’s simplest. Stripes on the body and stripes on the sleeve. The red collar brings the shirt together although the white shorts are a bit overwhelming given how much white is used on the shirt. Red socks off-set this slightly but all-in-all this kit looks more like it belongs with Stoke City at the Britannia rather than at St James Park.
1926 – Stripes, Stripes, Baby
With the Grecians having established red and white stripes as the new normal in Exeter, this kit brought a continental feel to south Devon with an effort resembling Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.
The shirt design is actually very similar in style to the design used in the 1910’s, with simple stripes on the body and sleeves. The obvious difference is in the change in colour of the socks and the shorts. I’m a massive fan of the use of the dark blue here as I think it compliments the red and white stripes really nicely. In this modernisation I have also given the shirt design a blue collar and trim on the sleeves to match the shorts instead of the original red, just to give another element to the kit and bring it together as a whole.
Thanks for reading this post! Do give us a like and a follow on Twitter @lionmaskpod and keep an eye out for the next parts in this mini-series!
Also, if you’re a fan of historical football shirts or want to see more classic Exeter City shirts through the years, check out Historical Football Kits, I’ve included some of their illustrations in this post and they’ve got a great catalogue of kits through the ages!