21/22 THIRD KIT
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.
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.
Crystal Palace’s third kit has been launched for the 160th anniversary of the club’s founding in 1861, and is based on the strips worn by the first ever team.
The colours, Manning explains, reflect those of the Crystal Palace building; “painted in such a way it almost blended in with the sky”. We know the team wore blue and white because Charles Alcock’s football annual – the primary source of information on Victorian football – stated it so. Indeed, Alcock later went on to represent Palace.
Alcock also went into detail on the configuration of shirts at the time, which were typically one of four styles: bars, hoops, stripes or half-and-half. Alcock would describe the bars, hoops and stripes in detail, but said nothing of Palace’s common approach – simply “blue and white”.
“If it was anything other than half and half it would have been mentioned,” Manning confirms.
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This kit is covered in small, subtle touches paying homage to Crystal Palace’s history.
Perhaps most strikingly, the original Crystal Palace building is emblazoned across the front of the shirt, going from top to bottom much like the eagle does on the new away kit.
The club crest has also been modified to a blacked-out special edition, blending in smartly with the wider designs.
Then, on the back of the shirt, supporters will find a CPFC 1861 stamp and the black trim running across the collar and hems.
The 1861-inspired Crystal Palace third kit is available online here now, and in-store in the three Club Shops from 9am on Tuesday, 27th July.