Wolverhampton Wanderers Shirt History
Wolverhampton Wanderers are one of eleven founding clubs of the English Football League and they were the first club to win all four of England’s professional divisions. Let’s find out more about their kit manufacturing and shirt sponsorship history…
Wolves Shirt History Checklist
Wolverhampton Wanderers Kit Manufacturer History
2021 – present – Castore
Current suppliers, Castore, have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons with fellow Premier League outfits Aston Villa and Newcastle United, and unfortunately it has been a similar story with Wolves. The Manchester brand has been slammed for poor production quality and Nelson Semedo fell victim to this twice in 2022/23 – once with a ripped shirt and another time with an upside down club crest. It is disappointing given this agreement is believed to be a landmark deal, bringing forward a ‘new club-manufacturer model that has seen success in the USA, but is a first for elite sport in the UK’.
Material and production quality aside, the design of the shirts during this period have been impressive. The old orange gold home strip for 2023/24 is an example of this, with the tonal pinstripes paying homage to the 1980’s.
Another is the teal and gold away strip from 2022/23 that takes inspiration from their 1996/97 away top. The lined background pattern represents the girders and fixings of the Billy Wright Stand at Molineux Stadium. The third strip from the same campaign is another that catches the eye with its white and light grey geometric print.
2018 – 2021 – Adidas
The 2019/20 campaign will be forever remembered by Wolverhampton supporters with their team reaching the Quarter Finals of the Europa League. They crashed out after a defeat to eventual winners Sevilla. However, as a result of their efforts, the 2019/20 Adidas collection will always have its place in the West Midlands clubs’ history books. The pick of that year is their black away strip which featured gold diagonal pinstripes.
A disappointing away jersey came in 2020/21 – its white shoulder area was clearly split from its base, which had a wild, unique blue pattern splattered across it. It’s sleeve cuffs combined black and amber. Fortunately, the collection wasn’t completely soured with the home shirt saving the day – its amber body had a cool tonal chevron like pattern imprinted and black sleeves that were topped off with thick amber cuffs.
2013 – 2018 – Puma
The first Puma home jersey of this period saw the German brand integrate an uncommon neckline. It had a black underlayer filled with two small vertical dashes that were the same colour as its base. Despite its unusualness, it seemed to go down well.
Another successful home shirt was worn in 2016/17 – the strip included black pinstripes on its orange base and black colour blocks going down its shoulders. Although, it was unfortunately partnered with an unpretty illuminous lime green polo away kit.
Wolves finished top of the Championship and earnt Premier League promotion in 2017/18, meaning the shirts worn during this campaign will be forever remembered for the team’s heroics. Their home top had a smart, buttoned ‘grandad collar’ and the away strip had a spotted orange vertical stripe going through the crest area of its black base. They also had a less appealing light grey and light blue gradient patterned third kit.
2010 – 2013 – Burrda
Burrda headquarters in Qatar and their time with Wolves began with a vintage golden orange home jersey that had a black neckline which combined a V-neck and a polo. The crewneck away shirt released alongside it survived two seasons – this had tonal pinstripes, as well as several orange touches.
The decision was made to add pretty much no black at all to the home top worn in their final campaign. It was simply a silky orange polo that had thick, tonal stripes imprinted. A cool teal away strip was also donned for this season.
2004 – 2010 – Le Coq Sportif
Le Coq Sportif is another brand that has been part of one of Wolves’ Premier League promotion campaigns, however the shirts worn in 2008/09 would probably have gone down as classics regardless. Their orange home jersey had two black curved colour blocks on its sides that slightly came into the base area. A cold black strip with illuminous yellow features, one of which was the club crest, was worn away.
Two other smart away shirts were later released with the first coming in 2006/07. It was white, with black features on its shoulders and sides. The black side panels and the sleeve cuffs were outlined in Wolves’ old gold. The second was worn in 2007/08 and this version was navy with the club’s primary colour featuring on its sides, sleeve cuffs and lower trim. Interestingly, several triangles joined together, making out consecutive hexagons, were embossed into its background.
2002 – 2004 – Admiral
The same home shirt was worn for both Admiral seasons, but their supporters wouldn’t have complained given they were promoted to the Premier League while wearing it. On 26th May 2003, Wolves beat Sheffield United 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium to win promotion to England’s top flight for the first time in 20 years. It had a classical black polo collar that was outlined with its base colour, as well as black side panels which ran under its sleeves.
A simple white strip that had a crossover collar which was hooped in old gold and black is another popular classic from this era. It was used as an away jersey for one season, but as the third shirt for the other.
2000 – 2002 – In house
Two in house campaigns in the early 2000’s saw the creation of three lovely shirts. A polo with minimal detail was worn as the home top for both campaigns, while both away kits combined two shades of blue. The 2000/01 version is particularly classy.
1996 – 2000 – Puma
During this period Puma supplied two versions of a Wolves home top, both of which were worn for two seasons. The most interesting of the two was worn from 1996 until 1998. It had a lot going on, but its key features were its thick V neck collar, the Wolverhampton crests embossed into the old gold sections and the ‘WW’s’ running down its black shoulders. A teal version, which was equally as smart, was worn as the away top in 1996/97.
Teal remained a part of the following away kit, albeit in smaller supply. The jersey that was worn from 1997 until 1999 was mostly white with a teal polo collar that had a small wolf head stitched into it. A teal colour block ran down both of its sleeves and the club crest was imprinted throughout.
1994 – 1996 – Nutmeg
The same away top was worn for both seasons under Nutmeg and it is easy to see why it is popular amongst Wolves supporters. It was elegantly white with a black polo collar which had an old gold hoop looping around it. The same two colours made up its sleeve cuffs.
In 1994/95, an interesting home shirt was worn and it had ‘Wolves’ tonally imprinted across its base several times. Another feature was a black polo collar that had WWFC stitched in.
1992 – 1994 – Molineux
The 1992/93 home strip divides opinion. It’s base combined two different shades of gold and it had a washed black brushstroke like pattern splattered across it several times. Sadly, the multi blue away top that was released alongside it wasn’t much better – and that survived two seasons!
1991 – 1992 – Bukta
Bukta produced two kits that followed the same concept. Other than the imprinted Wolverhampton crests, they were fairly simple shirts with a polo collar. Light blue was the colour choice for the away jersey.
1988 – 1991 – Scoreline
From 1988 until 1991, two V-neck shirts with tonal pinstripes were worn. For the final campaign, the V-neck was switched for a polo collar and the tonal pinstripes were replaced by a tonal chequered pattern.
1986 – 1988 – Spal
The same effortless Spal kits were worn for two seasons. Like the old gold home kit, the white away jersey had a thick black V-neck neckline as well as chunky vertical tonal stripes.
1974 – 1986 – Umbro
Umbro were the clubs first ever supplier and they enjoyed over a decade together. From 1982 until the end of the partnership, Wolves wore black pinstripes on all of their shirts. Although, despite this, it is the 1977 until 1982 collections that capture attention.
The 1977 until 1982 strips had cool, classy conjoined Umbro logos running down their sleeves. The Wolves crest used from 1977 until 1979 added to the vintage feel – it was simply three wolves running down the shirts centre.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Shirt Sponsor History
Wolves have partnered with a couple of recognisable brands over the years, so let’s find out who they are…
2022 – present – Astropay
Astropay’s aim is to ‘provide financial solutions to allow people to effortlessly manage their finances’. The business has seemingly developed quite a close relationship with the club and they even sponsor their ‘half-time game’.
Their logo of ‘Astropay’ with a small flick over the S took over the shirts centre. For the first season, the flick was red, but for the 2023/24 campaign it was made to be the same colour as the rest of the text – it’s the small things!
2019 – 2022 – ManbetX
The online bookmaker’s feature was incredibly busy. Due to the overpowering nature of it, ManbetX is probably one of the worst features that Wolves have had.
2018 – 2019 – W88
W88 is an online betting site and their branding included a huge ‘W’ above their name. It wasn’t a complete disaster, but it was a slight eyesore.
2016 – 2018 – The Money Shop
The Money Shop is a payday loan firm and the deal angered supporters from the get-go. In fact, Wolves eventually paid off the controversial company to end the partnership early. Their branding was fairly relaxed, but due to the morality of it, it isn’t worth discussing.
2015 – 2016 – Silverbug
Silverbug specialises in IT and it is founded by lifelong Wolves fan Owen Daley. Their branding was simplistic and elegant. Although they only sponsored the first time for one season, they later agreed a deal where they would continue sponsoring the club through their junior squads.
2013 – 2015 – Whathouse
Whathouse is an online property search database. Their feature was text-based with the word house in bold.
2009 – 2013 – SportingBet
Gambling company SportingBet also had a text-based feature, but this was ruined by the fact it was half red, half blue and outlined in white.
2004 – 2009 – Chaucer
Chaucer, a consultancy business, had the centre spot for five seasons. In their last campaign they replaced their classy logo look with their URL. Design wise, this wasn’t a good decision.
2002 – 2004 – Doritos
Doritos produces flavoured tortilla chips and they are recognised worldwide. It made the shirts from this period all the more iconic.
1990 – 2002 – Goodyear
Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers, had the slot for twelve years, but their relationship with Wolverhampton as a city runs a lot deeper than just this. Their recognisable logo is what featured.
1988 – 1990 – Manders Paint & Ink
The Mander family is famous throughout Wolverhampton and they once became one of the major employers of the city. Their simple text-based feature looked modest on the shirts.
1986 – 1988 – Staw Distribution
The T in the word ‘Staw’ of Staw Distributions feature was slightly taller than the rest of the branding. It was a cool look.
1982 – 1985 – Tatung
Tatung is a multinational corporation that headquarters in Taiwan. Their text-based branding was the first to appear on the front of a Wolves shirt.
Due to production quality, it is highly expected that Wolves will be on the search for a new manufacturer sooner rather than later and a partnership that might be nice for them to revisit is Puma’s, with some different, bespoke jerseys being produced previously. How about a remake of that renowned 1996 – 1998 home top? Or the title winning 2017/18 away strip?