Why did Liverpool Change Their Kit Colour, and When Did They Change to Red?

Why did Liverpool Change Their Kit Colour, and When Did They Change to Red?

1896 A NEW MANAGER AND NEW SHIRT COLOUR

After four seasons of playing in blue and white Liverpool changed their shirt colours to red for the 1896-97 season as a new manager was also unveiled.

After winning promotion back to the 1st Division John McKenna moved to a boardroom role, but there was a surprise when Liverpool appointed Tom Watson, who had managed Sunderland to three league championships.

Watson doubled his wages by moving to Liverpool and soon implemented changes in respect of the players training routines and diets.

Another area where there was change was in the shirt colours. For the first four years of their existence, Liverpool played in blue and white halved shirts, similar to what Blackburn Rovers wear today but from now on they would be wearing red.

Their first appearance under Watson's management and in the new shirts was on 1st September 1896 away to The Wednesday (now Sheffield Wednesday). The Reds won the game 2-1, George Allan scoring both the goals with the Liverpool Mercury describing them as looking 'resplendent in their new red shirts'.

liverpool-fc-first-kit-blue-white-not-red
image: Liverpool's first ever kit in the museum at Anfield.
Extract taken from book '100 Liverpool Facts' by Steve Horton

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