Notable kits of yesteryear

wrexham15018 July ~ Between 1981 and 1985, Wrexham wore an uninspiring kit designed by French sportswear giant Patrick. It was not a glorious association as this period included consecutive relegations back to the League basement, managerial changes, dwindling attendances and near financial ruin. In September 1983, bus operator Crosville became the club's first ever shirt sponsors to enliven a dull design, if only marginally.

The deal included an agreement that Crosville would provide travel to away matches in a luxury coach. This helped financially but didn't improve results as the team struggled to avoid facing re-election. The only positive from a long season of drudgery was European qualification after losing the Welsh Cup final to Shrewsbury Town.

Wearing the same strip, Wrexham started 1984-85 with a squad of 15 players and continued to scrap around the bottom of the Fourth Division under the guidance of Bobby Roberts. A glamorous diversion arrived when we drew FC Porto in the first round of the Cup-Winners Cup, beat them 1-0 on the Racecourse and achieved the impossible when a last-minute Barry Horne strike meant a 4-3 defeat in Portugal but an aggregate victory, courtesy of the away goals rule. 

Over the years, the pain of the Patrick years has receded while the cherished victory over Porto has become part of local folklore – a story that never fails to impress incredulous football fans. Consequently this shirt is the ultimate piece of retro memorabilia for Wrexham fans with selective memories. Nathan Lee Davies

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