Discussion The history of the lace up jumper

Discussion in 'Footy Jumpers and Graphic Design' started by West_Coast_Eagles, Jul 15, 2011.

Put it out there
  1. West_Coast_Eagles

    West_Coast_Eagles Norm Smith Medallist

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    Just wondering which club started using the lace up jumper?? what were its advantages?
     

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  2. Adelaide Hawk

    Adelaide Hawk Hall of Famer

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    Lace up jumpers were around from the beginning of football, along with caps and hose. Don't know who started it, but I know an Adelaide company Vic Hill had virtually cornered the Australian market in the 1970s.

    The advantages were, if custom fit, would hug the body like an extra layer of skin making it impossible to just grab the jumper. The way players tackle these days it would negate that advantage.

    The reason they were done away with were tackling players getting their fingers caught in the laces, causing some horrendous hand injuries.
     
  3. West_Coast_Eagles

    West_Coast_Eagles Norm Smith Medallist

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    from what ive seen they were massive in sanfl in the 60's-80's every team had them. richmond players wore them alot.
     
  4. El_Scorcho

    El_Scorcho Brownlow Medallist

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    I have Port Adelaide lace up, they still make them for merchandise today. I can see what people mean about the difficulty of tackling, there is no stretch or give in the material, so it would be incredibly difficult to grab someone by the jumper.
     
  5. Chris who

    Chris who Club Legend

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    I know that players in the wafl were allowed to wear them in the 80's but the clubs didnt supply them. A few players paid for their own and used them
     
  6. Foolmetwice

    Foolmetwice Rookie

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    I know that Port Adelaide and Sturt wore them exclusively right
    up until they were banned in 2001.
    The odd players from Glenelg and West Adelaide wore them as well.
    Richmond started wearing them after they met Sturt in the end of season
    games in the late 60s. Roger Merrett wore one in his last years at Essendon. Looked great.
    I thought they looked terrific and I'm glad that Port(SANFL) sticks
    close to the same design with the jumper they use now.
     
  7. Omegaville

    Omegaville Club Legend

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    2001... wow that's pretty good for sticking with something many of us would consider ancient! The VFL banned lace-ups during 1986 after an incident involving Robbie Flower - not sure if he was the tackler who broke a finger or if he was wearing it.

    From what Mero's posted before, I think it's like this: the "guernsey" was the black or blue jumper underneath, and the lace-up vest was worn over the top. These vests were specific for each team, as were the caps and socks (or "hose")... and they wore braces or sashes for extra identification. By 1909, dyed woollen jumpers gained popularity, but many players kept wearing lace-ups (without guernsey underneath). In the 1920s, sleeveless jumpers phased in as an extra option for players.

    I feel like that girl on YouTube who described the Star Wars trilogy in about 5 minutes, despite never watching it.
     
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  8. Mero

    Mero Norm Smith Medallist

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    Correct weight.
    Robbie Flower broke his finger tackling Michael Turner of Geelong.
    At the end of that season they banned them.

    Now, for the history, of which I could say I've done some research.

    1. The original footy jumpers were wool, and for the most part were Guernseys, imported from Guernsey, the Channel Island who competes as their own entity in the Commonwealth Games.
    2. In the late 1880s and 1890s the canvas Lace-up came into vogue.
    I had originally expected this to be because they were hard wearing etc, which they were, but it was also because of the properties listed by Adelaide Hawk above, they were very tight and proved hard to tackle the player wearing them.
    They did chaff a bit, so the players usually wore a spencer (t-shirt) under the canvas. Different names for it existed. Vest, Jerkin and Jumper all seem to be used.
    3. With the introduction of the local wool industry clubs moved to wool jumpers by the end of the 1900s decade.
    This was most likely because they were cheap, and more comfortable to wear.
    4. Initially ruckmen (and other taller players) were the only players to go sleeveless, as opposing ruckmen would grab the top of the sleeve to hold them down in ruck contests, so they cut them off. Collingwood wanted their players to look taller, so they not only recorded them as being taller with the VFL, but also cut all the sleeves off to make it look as though any of their team might be the ruckman. Eventually jumpers were made without the sleeves, with cuffs keeping the material from fraying.
    5. Clubs in SA introduced them in the 70s and when players moved to Victoria from SA they requested jumpers from the manufacturer in Adelaide. Richmond won the 1980 premiership with most players wearing lace-ups, and most clubs then adopted them afterwards.
    6. 1986 Flower broke his finger, as had numerous other players over the years, and they were banned.
     
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  9. Gibbsy

    Gibbsy Moderator

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  10. greatfox

    greatfox Rookie

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    Anyone know if there's somewhere you can buy lace-up jumpers for clubs other than Port these days?
     
  11. West_Coast_Eagles

    West_Coast_Eagles Norm Smith Medallist

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    Nowhere. Except jax from memory and need a minimum order.
     

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  12. 4321

    4321 Club Legend

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    i got a custom made SA state lace up jumper
     
  13. Mr Eagle

    Mr Eagle Mostly Harmless

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    So when did they actually disappear from the VFL?

    They were definitely still around in 1987 (seen in Footscray v WCE), and that article suggests it could have been as late as 88 (if the photo was a recent one).
     
  14. Mero

    Mero Norm Smith Medallist

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    Yeah, I actually think it was the end of 87, not 86.
    Robert Flower retired at the end of 87, so it wasn't 88.
    I also remember Essendon getting the new Nubrik sponsor logos at the same time, which was the end of 87, beginning of 88.
    Photos of players may have been taken during the preseason in 88.
     
  15. West_Coast_Eagles

    West_Coast_Eagles Norm Smith Medallist

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    Ross glendenning wore one for west coast in 87
     
  16. FootyJunkie

    FootyJunkie Brownlow Medallist

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    a 1987 VFL lace-up yellow peril... probably can't get more rare for an Eagles jumper than that
     
  17. El_Scorcho

    El_Scorcho Brownlow Medallist

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    Oh man, does anyone have an image of Glendinning wearing that? Did other players wear a lace up yellow peril?

    That would probably be among the most valuable guernseys in existence considering how much rare West Coast stuff goes for.
     
  18. FootyJunkie

    FootyJunkie Brownlow Medallist

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Mr Eagle

    Mr Eagle Mostly Harmless

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    I will re-upload the images from this post if I remember. Lace-ups and yellow shorts all at once! Truly that one is the white whale of all our jumpers.

    Edit: Done! Pictures are back...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
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  20. goalieboy82

    goalieboy82 Club Legend

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    now thats a rare sighting.
     
  21. Smeagle

    Smeagle BigFooty Kit Manager

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    [​IMG]
    It's a safe bet these will be the last true laceups ever worn in professional football.

    Celebrating 100 years of Subiaco Oval the Lions returned home for a one-off game against the club they first played at the ground in 1908.
    In the game East Perth wore white shorts and royal socks and had black numbers, while Subi had black shorts, maroon socks and gold numbers.
    Yes, East Perth even managed to make a mockery of the whole thing with their major sponsor, Mobilarm - one of 11 featured in the playing strip - whacked on the front not once but twice, on either side of the laces.

    The WAFL obviously had access to the original team lineups that day, and numbers were distributed according to the original players in positions, eg the 1908 FF for Subi was number 22, so Brad Smith wore that.
    That night the club celebrated its Team of the Century (curiously not done in 2001 for their actual centenary - maybe they knew there would be a dynasty in the decade to come). All the jumpers were auctioned off for ludicrous prices, and I'm yet to see one since.
    The jumpers themselves, as you can see, were pretty loose-fitting. I doubt the laces would have done much in the way of practically tightening the guernsey, but they were definitely there. And no one broke a finger.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
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  22. jonasshirtfront

    jonasshirtfront Senior List

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    On a related topic I remember Norwood in the mid-90s trying out zip-up guernseys. I'm pretty sure they used them in 1995 (I distinctly remember a young ruckman by the name of Matthew Primus tearing up the competition in a ridiculous shiny guernsey) and maybe a season before or after. I had a search around but could only come up with this picture:

    [​IMG]

    from this post on sportslogos.net:

    http://boards.sportslogos.net/topic/87961-unique-equipment/page-6#entry1998941

    from memory it zipped from the top down so as to prevent people accidentally undoing it and undressing each other/shredding fingers on the teeth of the zipper.
     
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  23. West_Coast_Eagles

    West_Coast_Eagles Norm Smith Medallist

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    Ahaha
     
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  24. fumbler

    fumbler You should see me in a G banger.

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  25. Silent Alarm

    Silent Alarm Is your bed made? Is your sweater on?

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    Right, so it's pretty obvious lace-ups are a South Aussie thing yet it's barely recognised?

    A bit like how Barry Cable's a North Melbourne champion and Geelong's Polly Farmer's one of the game's revolutionaries...
     
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