This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Shirt Tales: Herts County Cup Final 1892 (Volume 1)

The West Herts / Watford Rovers players sported at least three different colours of shirts in the 1892 Herts County Cup Final, as Geoff Wicken relates. 


Alongside its match report from the previous week’s cup final (in which the team are referred to as West Herts throughout) the Watford Observer from 9th April 1892 contains this rather disapproving note on the kit worn by both teams: 

“The Hoddesdon colours were uniform.  West Herts were not.  Certainly Walter Coles was attired as a Christian in his “yellow and amber”, but Alec Sargent played in virgin white, and Mariette and Woods were both in Rovers shirts.  There was little difference between them and the Hoddesdon colours”.  

The match report gives a strong clue as to Hoddesdon’s colours: they are referred to as “the blue and chocolates”.  Rovers had been known to wear blue shirts prior to 1890, so perhaps Mariette and Woods were wearing these.  Aside from these two and the others mentioned, what the remaining seven players wore is not reported.  It may have been a fourth different colour – perhaps one of the striped designs that can be seen in photographs from the era, such as at the very first match played at Cassio Road, on 27th September 1890 against A. T. B. Dunn’s XI. 

That would have been a prestigious occasion.  A. T. B. Dunn was a noted amateur player of the day, who had played in two FA Cup Finals for Old Etonians, and went on to captain England against Scotland in Glasgow on 2nd April 1892 – the very day that West Herts (or Watford Rovers) beat Hoddesdon to win the Herts County Cup. 

The home team’s picture that day in 1890 – which can be seen in the Watford FC Centenary History – makes them appear far smarter than the disorganised-looking group who collected the county trophy in 1892 must have done.   

One wonders whether ‘West Herts, formerly Watford Rovers’ – who were still an amateur club at this stage and would remain so for five more years – were in the habit of turning up in whatever shirts they could find.  Or, perhaps, was the players’ rag-bag choice of shirts a gesture of protest along with the striking of the medals?   

Beyond the implied criticism in its description, the Watford Observer is silent on the matter.   


Colour Kits: Copyright Historical Football Kitsand reproduced by kind permission 


This article is from Volume 1 of The Watford Treasury, to purchase this publication in all its visual glory, please follow the link below:

Leave a comment