theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'

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Playing Kit : Thames Ironworks ...

Extracts from:-

"WHY CLARET & BLUE" by John Helliar - WHU Club Historian,


Two excellent books written by John Powles "IRON in the BLOOD" and "IRONS of the SOUTH" and also research undertaken by John Northcutt, Grant Hole and Peter Hamersley.


At the time of the Thames Ironworks FC move to the newly opened Memorial Grounds in 1896, it would appear from a team group taken at the time, in front of the new clubhouse, the Ironworks side shows them with the West Ham Charity Cup wearing a dark blue strip. The shirt emblem the players are sporting is the "Union Jack" with the letters T I W above. Thames Ironworks played in the London league at that time.

Season 1895-1896

Shirts:   Shorts:   Socks:   All Oxford Blue

All Oxford blue, There's no primary source for Oxford blue other than black & white photographs and the fact that Arnold Hills played for both Harrow School and Oxford University in Oxford blue kit


West Ham Charity Cup Winners

1895 1896 1897 1899-1900

1895 - 1896

1896 - 1897

Season 1896-1897

Shirts: Light blue,   Shorts: White,   Socks: Scarlet

There are conflicting reports for this season, some saying Oxford blue, some saying light blue shirt, white shorts, scarlet socks. There are no photographs from 1896-97 and there are no written reports either, but we do know that the light blue shirt kit was worn season 1897-98 so it's the time of change from Oxford blue to light blue that's in doubt.

Season 1897-1898

Shirts: Light blue,   Shorts: White,   Socks: Scarlet,   Cap & Sash: Scarlet

A report of an away match against Novocastrians in November 1897 states that because of heavy rain causing muddy conditions after half-time

“The Ironworks appeared on the field with brand new white spotless clean knickers and light blue shirts, but before they had been playing long they were covered in mud, to the huge delight of the Novo’s spectators”.

This appears to be the first actual reference in print to the Ironworks’ colours, and a team photo from 1897-98 below seems to confirm this.


1897 - 1899

Season 1898-1899

Shirts: Light blue,   Shorts: White,   Socks: Scarlet

A second reference to club colours comes at the end of February 1899 when, the club arranged a friendly at Eastbourne FC, who paid professional clubs a fee to visit their Sussex ground. The local newspaper correspondent was full of praise for Ironworks, declaring, after their 3-1 victory.

“A prettier and more distinctive costume than theirs I have never yet seen on a football ground. Light blue shirts, white knickers and scarlet stockings were their colours".

The colours were moving ever closer to the claret and blue West Ham would sport in a few years time.

Season 1899-1900

Shirts: Castle blue,   Shorts: White,   Socks: Vermillion




Thames Ironworks Badge

Home Strip Graphic Illustrations:  Copyright and reproduced by kind permission Historial Football Kits

1899 - 1900


1900 to 1999

Thames Ironworks 1900-1999

A reference to club colours for the 1899-1900 season comes from the Essex County Chronical dated 16 March 1900. The local newspaper correspondent (K.F.) states:

“Thames Ironworks have turned out in the British colours - their socks being red, the knickers white, and the shirts blue. This costume, it is understood, has been designed by Mr. A.F. Hills".