Notable kits of yesteryear

Crawley11-1230 January ~ The start of 2011-12 brought a double celebration for Crawley Town fans. Not only were we in the Football League for the first time, but we had a new shirt that – apart from some piping around the collar – was entirely red. No silly white sleeves, no preposterous white flashes across the shoulders; just traditional CTFC red. It even bore a sponsor, GFS, we’d heard of.

The previous year we’d had a deal with an obscure property company – Joseph Green – designed to provide a cash bonus to the club every time they sold a house. They didn’t even do enough business to enable them to keep their office at the stadium open for the entire season. Luckily the team wearing their name were significantly more successful, winning the Conference with a record points tally.

My shirt bore the legend, "Tubbs 9". That was, coincidentally, both a reference to my waistline and to prolific centre-forward Matt who, along with strike partner Tyrone Barnett, was scoring goals for fun, powering the team into the automatic promotion places and towards the fifth round of the FA Cup. Sadly, by the end of February both had left. Manager Steve Evans wasn’t far behind. Our Cup dream was over too, at the hands of Stoke City.

The rest of the season was a struggle. After many fits and starts we crept over the line into the third promotion spot, finishing one point ahead of Southend United. Joy, relief, and we looked stylish. What more could we ask? Ian Townsend

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