Chelsea Shirts Over the Years
Chelsea is known for its iconic blue shirt and this has remained relatively consistent over the years. Their main differences are in their manufacturers and their sponsors, with only slight changes made to the colour. The away shirts had more variety over history than the home shirts, with some only being worn once.
Here is a short history of the Chelsea shirt with some of the small changes made to them since the team was formed in 1905.
1905 - 1918
The colours first associated with Chelsea FC were Eton blue and white for their shorts. These were chosen with respect to the Earl of Cadogan’s racing colours as he was the president of the club at the time. They continued to play in these colours until World War I. Thereafter, the shirt was changed to a royal blue colour.
1960 - 1969
After winning the League Championship they added a crest to their shirts which was designed to honour the Earl of Cadogan and contained a Lion Rampant. This was replaced by a simpler design of the clubs initials in 1964 but the Lion Rampant was used once more in 1968 and has been used as Chelsea’s badge ever since. The clubs shirts were manufactured by Umbro in 1963 and the colour of their shorts was changed to blue and has remained that way.
1970 – 1982
The emblem was slightly changed once more when Chelsea began to take titles. There was an image of the FA Cup next to the Lion Rampant in 1971 and there were two stars added in 1972 to celebrate their FA Cup win and their European Winner’s Cup. In 1981, Le Coq Sportif took over manufacturing the shirts from Umbro and they continued manufacturing them until 1986.
1983 - 1992
Gulf Air was Chelsea’s first commercial sponsor and a contract was signed sometime between 1982 and 1983. Until 1989, a variety of changes in their sponsors were made before they reached a long term agreement with computer and electronics manufacturer Commodore International.
In 1986, the shirts were manufactured by The Chelsea Collection but Umbro took over again in 1987. Some red trim was added to the club badge and the Umbro sign at this stage. There was a short period between 1985 and 1992 where Chelsea’s socks returned to the initial blue colour but they returned back to white thereafter.
1995 – 2005
Coors Beer sponsored Chelsea from 1995 until 1997 when Autoglass took over. Emirates Airline were their official sponsors from 2001 until 2005. Some slight changes were made to the blue colour of the shirt. The blue was much lighter and sections of the sleeves were white. This was one of the more popular Chelsea shirts.
2005 – 2012
In 2006, Adidas took over the manufacturing of Chelsea’s shirts and their new Sponsor was Samsung. They have both remained with the team until today. There are the traditional three stripes of Adidas on the sleeves and there is some red trim embroidered into the neck and the Chelsea badge.