Notable kits of yesteryear
18 September ~ Aptly, Hammarby’s single League title would come with adverts for Falcon lager emblazoned on their shirts. In the Hammarby-following bars of Stockholm's working-class southside it is the default beer for matchgoers.
The club have had a range of styles over the years, wearing black and yellow from the 1920s onwards before returning to green and white in different minimal forms. The shirt that saw the team to championship glory was dated even by 2000s standards; the offset faded stripes and chunky elasticated arms are 1996 vintage, a five-minute rework of a Puma catalogue kit for an unfancied team. Many tipped Hammarby for yet another foray into Sweden’s second tier.
The margins by which top teams dominate Sweden are steadily increasing. In 2014 Malmo stormed the league with 62 points, compared to Hammarby’s meagre 49 that won the 2001 title by a single point. Not only was 2001 a highpoint in the club’s history, it was an example of the competitiveness that characterised the barely professionalised Swedish game in days gone by. League success masked deeper problems though; among other mistakes the club had made a financially catastrophic and farcical error in signing two expensive, unknown and underwhelming Yugoslavians based only on video clips.
What saved them were the goals of the giant Andreas “The Herminator” Hermansson, who had the season of his life, and the young talent of Championship Manager favourite Kennedy Bakircioglu. Kennedy would return to help the club out of their next crisis a decade on, but Hammarby are a long way from repeating the feat of that magical year. Dominic Hinde