Sheffield United Shirt History
Formed in March 1889, Sheffield United claim that they are the oldest ‘United’ that is currently playing their football at a professional level. Let’s take a deeper dive into the kit manufacturing and shirt sponsorship history of the club who’s nickname of ‘The Blades’ stems from Sheffield’s famous cutlery industry.
Sheffield United Shirt History Downloadable Checklist
Sheffield United Kit Manufacturer History
Errea – 2022 – Present
Sheffield United are part of the ‘United World’ group and their deal with Errea was announced as ‘pioneering’ as it is thought to be the first of its kind where each club within a ‘multi club structure’ is kitted out in the same brand of technical attire.
The Italian supplier’s first go at the Blades’ strips saw three classy, clean looks produced for what turned out to be a Premier League promotion earning campaign. Traditional red and white stripes outlined with black pinstripes made up the home kit, while the white away shirt, which was inspired by the 70’s, had one red stripe and two black ones conjoined running down its centre. The black polo third strip had stylish gold touches to go with its golden monochrome club crest.
The Errea 2023/24 home jersey is a modern remake of their 1997 – 1999 Le Coq Sportif classic, with the club also drawing links to the city’s ‘dynamic present and promising future as a vibrant hub of innovation and culture’.
2014 – 2022 – Adidas
The South Yorkshire clubs home kit usually always features bold red and white stripes, but in 2015/16 Adidas opted for a white base and vertical red pinstripes to celebrate the Blades’ 125th anniversary season. It definitely divided opinion across the fanbase, as it is a look that hadn’t been seen since 1894. The club emblem from 1890 until 1950 also made a one season return.
Another home shirt with a difference, but this time a more successful one, is the 2017/18 edition. Black came to the forefront a little more than usual with it taking over the sleeves. The colour also outlined the red and white stripes. The fact promotion campaigns came either side of this jersey, one of which ended a 13-year Premier League absence, and it still stands out shows it was done well.
Adidas made a number of brave moves on alternate shirts, but their best work actually came when they kept it simple. Two hits were the 2019/20 and 2021/22 away strips. The former was white with an artful grey pixel pattern imprinted and the latter was black with a grey sash.
2009 – 2014 – Macron
Much of the Macron era was spent in League One, so supporters may not be too fond of this period, however, a fine few football shirts did come out it. One of which is the central crest home top worn in 2012/13. It’s simple, but effective, predecessor from 2011/12 is another.
Although, it is the 2009/10 third jersey which celebrates the clubs 120th birthday that steals the show. It was made up of black and grey and it had the name of every player that had ever represented Sheffield United up until that date embossed.
2002 – 2009 – Le Coq Sportif
Disappointingly, this particular Le Coq Sportif era wasn’t quite as good as their three-year stint in the late 90’s. Their best attempt of a home shirt probably came in their final season – it had a looping white colour block running around the stripes and down its sides.
The French supplier attempted to make things memorable with a bold orange alternate strip used from 2004 until 2006. Another effort came in the form of black and white Newcastle like stripes and it was donned as an away shirt in 2006/07.
2000 – 2002 – Patrick
Patrick took control for two years and the Blades worn the same strips for both campaigns.
A smart black polo collar which had red and white features meant the home shirt was nicely done, but unfortunately the away jersey wasn’t so good. It was a silky gold with a navy-blue collar and side panels.
1997 – 2000 – Le Coq Sportif
The aforementioned 1997 – 1999 home kit is undoubtedly the standout of this partnership. It had two large white stripes outlined in black running vertically on its red base. Making it even more classy was its elegant black polo neck collar which has two white lines looping around it.
Though, the 1999/00 home strip did not disappoint either. It was more traditionally striped, but it’s main feature was a black colour block front and centre of its predominantly red neckline that had ‘Blades’ stitched in.
1995 – 1997 – Avec
Avec only supplied the Blades for two-years but they certainly made sure that they’ll be remembered. The 1995/96 Sheffield United home shirt was definitely…different. It had thin white stripes that expanded in areas to make diamonds. Despite its craziness, a lovely feature was that the red of the base was embossed with crossed blades from the club emblem.
The away shirt worn in both years was also bold. It was half yellow and half navy and this also had parts of the Sheffield United crest imprinted into it.
However, if you think these are dazzling, be sure to check out the goalkeeping jerseys worn in these years…
1983 – 1995 – Umbro
Starting with the lime away shirt that had a tonal zigzag’s incorporated in 1989, the kits worn at the back end of this partnership were impressive. A true classic was used as an alternate strip from 1993 until 1995, and it was mostly navy with turquoise touches and a turquoise sash that had a purple colour block running through the middle of it. An honourable mention goes to the 1994/95 away top, turquoise was this time the predominant colour and it was tonally striped with a difference as Umbro logos were imprinted throughout.
Purely because of its old-school laced neckline, the 1992 – 1994 home shirt is without a doubt the best home top of this era.
1979 – 1983 – Hobott
Hobott are the makers of two absolute classics used from 1981 until 1983, so much so, they are still sought-after to this day. The same concept was followed for both.
They had the club emblem placed within the middle stripe with crossed swords and Yorkshire roses patterned vertically within the stripes of the same colour either side of it. The away shirt was particularly unusual as it was made up of yellow and brown.
1975 – 1979 – Admiral
It was Manchester based brand Admiral that first introduced the Sheffield United faithful to centre crest jerseys in 1977 – with both the home and away shirt taking up this design aspect.
In fact, they are quite the innovators, because as far as we can see, the sash designed away strip from 1975 was also a first.
1972 – 1975 – Umbro
Umbro, founded in 1924, signed with the club in 1972 as their first ever shirt manufacturing partnership. As expected, the kits were traditional and basic.
Sheffield United Shirt Sponsor History
It appears that the Blades’ shirt sponsor history is fairly extensive, so let’s get right into it…
2023 – present – CFI
Award winning financial group CFI, who have Pep Guardiola as a Global Brand Ambassador, have their name printed in a large red colour block for their logo. However, it was changed to a better looking black for the yellow away strip and they have ensured that it is outlined in black on the home shirt – which coincidentally goes with its pinstripes. It could be an eyesore, but effort has been made to make it ‘fit in’.
2021 – 2023 – Randox Health
Healthcare company Randox Health are famous for being the UK’s largest COVID-19 PCR testing provider. This feature was mostly text based and it was quite elegantly done.
2019 – 2021 – Union Standards Group (USG)
USG is an Australian-based global multi-asset broker and this partnership ended slightly early due to the group falling into administration. Their feature would have looked much cleaner without their logo involved, which coincidentally looks much like the British flag on first glimpse.
2018 – 2019 – Ramsdens Currency
Ramsdens Currency is a travel money and exchange company. Their slot was taken up by a simple text-based feature, although the use of green on the home top was a bit of an eyesore.
2017 – 2018 – Teletext Holidays
The cool, eye-catching text of British travel company Teletext Holidays took the centre spot for a single season.
2016 – 2017 – Alpharooms.com
Alpharooms.com is another travel company and their feature also involved a stylish text. However, its appearance on the away shirt was a little dubious due to it being half blue and half orange.
2014 – 2016 – John Holland Sales
Sheffield based car dealership John Holland Sales proudly featured on the home and away shirt for two seasons.
Being critical, their branding in the first year did look a little tacky, but the second campaign certainly boasted their prestige with an elegant drawing of a card placed above their name which was underlined.
2013 – 2015 – Topspring
Australian based development experts Topspring focused on alternate kits. Sadly, their branding looked a little overdone.
2013 – 2014 – VSportsGames.com
The none overpowering branding of VSportsGames.com had the home kit for a singular season.
2012 – 2013 – Redtooth
Gambling brand Redtooth, which specialises in poker, appeared on the away and third shirt in 2012/13. Their text-based feature had their slogan of ‘endless entertainment’ printed in a smaller size underneath it. It wasn’t a bad looking sponsor.
2011 – 2013 – Westfield Health
British health and wellbeing company Westfield Health sponsored the home shirt. Their branding was very nicely done as their logo sprung from middle of the text.
2011 – 2012 – Gilder Group/Volkswagen
The Gilder Group was a Sheffield based motor vehicles company. Their name alongside the famous Volkswagen logo appeared on the away shirt for one season. Unfortunately, it all looked a little misplaced and random.
2008 – 2011 – VisitMalta.com
Once they lost the background feature from the first year, the branding of Tourism site VisitMalta.com was rather smartly done.
2006 – 2008 – Capital One
The recognisable text of Capital One, an American bank holding company, featured on all of the shirts for two years.
Bar the 2006/07 away strip, where the silver text colour on a white background wasn’t too visible, it was done as well as it could be.
2004 – 2006 – HFS Loans
The blue block feature of HFS Loans didn’t make for a great colour combination on any of the strips.
2002 – 2004 – Desun
Although Desun’s feature had a fair bit going on, it didn’t overpower the shirt at all – it was a good sponsor.
2000 – 2002 – Midas Games
Midas Games were an international publisher of video games. Their branding features a cool yellow text on either a blue or black background, depending on the shirt. Surprisingly, it didn’t look too bad.
1999 – 2000 – Blades
Blades also used yellow text on a black background. Despite it being a little towards the large side, the crossed swords gave it a true Sheffield United feel – it gets a thumbs up.
1995 – 1999 – Ward’s
Sheffield based brewery, Ward’s, is best known for their bitter production. Their branding featured their name on a scroll like background – it was impressive.
1985 – 1995 – Arnold Laver
Arnold Laver is a leading timber specialist. After a rocky start, from 1989 the brand found an elegant joined up font which they used for a text-based feature.
1982 – 1983 – Bentley’s
Interestingly, Bentley’s feature ran vertically down a stripe as opposed to horizontally across them. Some will love it, others will hate it.
1981 – 1982 – Renault
Famous Automobile company, Renault, followed the same concept that Bentley’s did.
1979 – 1981 – Cantor’s
Cantor’s were the clubs first ever front of shirt sponsor, but unfortunately, we struggled to find much out about them.
Sheffield United have had a reasonably long list of manufacturers and a deep pool of shirt sponsors, however, judging from an interesting line within their announcement of the Errea deal, the club now want longer, more meaningful partnerships. It read “United World will look to lead the way with fewer and bigger partnerships which benefits clubs under the same umbrella.”