Notable kits of yesteryear
4 April ~ The sad announcement that next season Newcastle United will be sponsored by Wonga aroused nostalgic memories of the days when the black and white shirt proudly displayed the Newcastle Brown Ale logo.
The 1997-99 design was the last home kit to feature the distinctive blue star and Tyne Bridge silhouette throughout its use. The template which succeeded this shirt had Brown Ale sponsorship for one season before a switch to the altogether more garish green and purple NTL logo the following year.
The 1997-99 shirt stands out for various reasons. It has orange trim instead of the more conventional blue. The Adidas, Brown Ale, and Newcastle logos are all placed centrally. It was also worn for two consecutive Cup final appearances and in Newcastle's first ever Champions League campaign.
But to truly appreciate the uniqueness of this kit it must be seen from behind. The back's centrepiece is a large black shield, taken from the club crest, over which the squad numbers are placed. This made anyone wearing the kit look even more ridiculous if they had not paid the extra money for name and number printing. But not quite as ridiculous as anyone who plumped for No 8 and "Guivarc'h". Simon Meechan