THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Swindon95 96

After back-to-back relegations from the Premier League to the old Division Two, a change was needed at Swindon Town. So, in 1995, the Robins ditched their collared shirt in favour of a roundneck style reminiscent of the kit in which they famously won the League Cup in 1969.

Sponsored by engine oil manufacturers Castrol – who had a major regional headquarters little more than three miles from the County Ground and whose chief executive, Rikki Hunt, also sat on the Swindon board – the all-red uniform was not massively well received. It was blamed for causing some breathing difficulties for players on a matchday and replicas weighed heavy on fans' shoulders, yet the strip brought with it an immediate upturn in fortunes.

A side featuring legendary central defender "Ooh" Shaun Taylor and the strike pairing of Wayne "The Chief" Allison and Steve Finney, lost only four league matches in 1995-96, storming to the title by nine points ahead of fierce rivals Oxford. The Robins also reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, only losing to Premier League Southampton in a replay, and pushed champions Blackburn hard in an enthralling League Cup encounter.

Back in the days when clubs didn't swap shirts every summer, Swindon stuck with their successful kit for their return to Division One but after one more season, and a 19th-placed finish, the roundneck was gone and the collar returned. Sam Morshead

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