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Captains Collection | The stories behind the shirts

Figure image

The Captains Collection marks the return of some of the club’s favourite and most iconic replica jerseys worn throughout the club’s 140-year history.

Modelled by Welford Road staff from across the club, take a look at some of the history behind each of the first five Captain’s Collection shirts. You'll be able to discover more through our unique QR code when you receive your shirt.  

Captains Collection 1880 team
The 1880/81 team photo

1880

Alexander Brice held the honour of Leicester Football Club’s first-ever captain following a merger of three local rugby clubs in 1880. The new team opted for a black jersey bearing the crest of a ‘wyvern’ – a mythical winged serpentine – atop a cinquefoil flower crest positioned in the centre of the shirt.

Tigers played Moseley in a goalless draw in their first amateur fixture at Belgrave Cricket and Cycle Ground involving schoolmasters, clerks and even an ironmonger. The black jerseys bore an initial nickname as ‘the death and glory boys’. Rugby in Leicester was born.

Captains Collection 1880 ross
Captains Collection 1887 team
Members of the 1887/88 team

1887

This shirt harks back to when the club was still trying to find its colours. Still bearing the same crest, the team wore chocolate and yellow stripes in '85, chocolate and 'French grey' in '87, followed by claret and grey in '89 inspired by the club’s links with Leicestershire’s Tigers regiment.

A unique colour scheme, tough-wearing cotton and Leicester’s famous hosiery trade no doubt played a part in the experiment as captain and utility back John Parsons led the team as they forged a new nickname as ‘the Tigers’.

Captains Collection 1887 studio
Captains Collection 1996 player
Eric Miller in action in the Heineken Cup

1996

A swift change from the red alternate kits of the 80s and early 90s, the ‘Goldstar’ kit featured a clean dark blue base colour wrapped in green, white and red bands. Marking the shift to professionalism, Goldstar was one of the club’s first official sponsors and took pride of place on the chest, underneath the club's famous coat of arms.

Club icon Dean Richards would captain the side for a consecutive fourth season as Tigers picked up a Pilkington Cup alongside a Heineken Cup Final place, just missing out to Brive in the showpiece. With original shirts of this design a rarity, we’ve bought one of the club's most unique designs back to life.

Captains Collection 1996 adam
Captains Collection 1997 player
Fritz van Heerden breaks with the ball

1997

This would be the last bright green shirt to be worn by Leicester Tigers following a move to the now recognisable dark green base colour in 1999. Local Leicestershire clothing suppliers NEXT took the place of Goldstar in what would become a long-lasting partnership with the club which still stands to this day.

This season also marked the first of seven defining years as captain for lock Martin Johnson with Richards taking the reins upstairs. The shirt would also be the first one worn by a certain young Irishman by the name of Geordan Murphy.

Captains Collection 1997 studio
Captains Collection 2020 shirt
New-look Leicester Tigers

2020

Same stripes, new look. Steeped in history, the honour of pulling on the green, white and red of Leicester Tigers is something every player values.

With a new history yet to be written, Steve Borthwick leads the charge as head coach working with a squad brimming with a mix of a long-standing club men, international firepower and a fresh generation of talent from an academy celebrating three league titles in a row.

The journey has begun.

Captains Collection 2020 Maisie

The launch marks the start of what will become a mainstay collection for The Club Shop with more replica shirt designs coming in the future.

Check out the full collection at the link below from 5.00pm this Friday, October 2.