As you might have calculated from reading my many groundhopping blogs on this blogsite, I am a Holywell Town fan. For the majority of Holywell’s history (that I am aware of) Holywell have always played in red and white vertical striped shirts. It was during a home game, where the new strip had been unveiled for this season, that it got me wondering.
“How many other teams in the world of football play in red and white striped shirts, and are there any particular links between them all?”
The first part of the series saw me looking into red and white striped teams in England and the Football League. However in this second part of the series, I am looking at teams from the Iberian leagues of Spain and Portugal who play in red and white stripes, and where their inspiration (if found) came from.
Be prepared, there’s a lot of them in Spain…
Athletic Club de Bilbao are one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football having won La Liga on eight occasions, and the Copa del Rey an amazing 23 times. Based in the Basque port city of Bilbao, they currently play in the Primera División, and are one of only three teams to have never been relegated from La Liga, alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Los Leones originally played in an improvised white kit, and then in donated half-blue, half-white shirts (similar to those worn by Blackburn Rovers, and a design they reused for their centenary shirt). In late 1909, a young student from Bilbao named Juan Elorduy, who was spending Christmas in London, was charged by the club to buy 25 new shirts, but was unable to find enough. Waiting for the ship back to Bilbao and empty handed, Elorduy realised that the colours of the local team Southampton matched the colours of the City of Bilbao, and bought 50 shirts to take with him. Upon arriving in Bilbao, the club’s directors decided almost immediately to change the team’s strip to the new colours, and since 1910, Athletic Club have played in red and white stripes.
Of the 50 shirts bought by Juan Elorduy in Southampton for Athletic Club, half of the shirts were then sent to Atlético Madrid, where Elorduy was a committee member and a former player. Atléti originally began as a youth branch of Athletic Club within the Spanish capital, and thus adopted their red and white stripes of their parent club. However they kept hold of their original blue shorts in comparison to Athletic, who switched to black shorts.
Since their foundation by Basques based in Madrid in 1903, the club has become Spain’s third most successful team. Los Rojoblancos have won La Liga on ten occasions (most recently in 2013-14), the Copa del Rey ten times, the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup three times, and have also been Champions League finalists on three occasions. As of October 2019, they were ranked second in UEFA club coefficient ranking table, ahead of Barcelona and bitter rivals, Real Madrid.
Real Sporting de Gijón are a former La Liga club who finished as runners-up in the 1978-79 season. They currently compete in the Segunda División, having finished in ninth position in the 2018-19 season. Los Rojiblancos represent the largest city in Asturias, Gijón (Asturian: Xixón), which is located on the northern coast of Spain.
Sporting Gijón have worn red and white striped jerseys since their inception, being the first Spanish team to wear red and white, as both Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid wore blue and white until 1909. The colours for their shirts are taken from the official flag of Gijón, which itself is based on the flag of the maritime province of Gijón, established in 1845.
Unión Deportiva Almería are a club based in the city of Almería, located on the eastern Mediterranean coast of the autonomous region of Andalusia. Los Rojiblancos currently compete in the Segunda División, spending their fifth season in the second tier having been relegated from La Liga at the end of the 2014-15 season.
La Unión is fairly new, having been founded in 2001 when the city’s two clubs, Polideportivo Almería and Almería CF, merged together to create the current UD Almería. The colours of UD Almería probably originate from the city’s flag and coat of arms, which have a red Saint George’s cross on a white background.
Girona Futbol Club was founded in 1930, and is located in the north-eastern Catalan city of Girona. Traditionally it was a club which competed in the third and fourth tiers of Spanish football, reaching the Segunda División in just the 2008-09 season (their first appearance since the late 1950’s). The Blanquivermells competed in the second tier for nine seasons before gaining promotion to La Liga for the first time in their history at the end of the 2016-17 season. 2017 also saw the club being acquired by the City Football Group, to add to its portfolio of clubs around the world. Last season they got relegated from La Liga after two seasons, meaning they are back in the Segunda División.
Despite being owned by the City Group, they still play in their red and white striped shirts, and not sky blue like other City teams. The colours probably originate from Girona’s flag and coat of arms, which have a red and white checkered shield in the middle of it.
Club Deportivo Lugo were founded in 1953 and currently play in the Segunda División. Los Albivermellos are based in the Galician-speaking, Roman-walled city of Lugo, situated in the north-west of the Iberian peninsula. Historically a lower league team, the Galicians are having their best period in the club’s history, playing their eighth season in the Segunda División after being promoted at the end of the 2011-12 season.
The colours of CD Lugo’s kit originate from its origin club, CD Polorín, who first wore red and white striped shirts.
Unión Deportiva Logroñés currently play in the Segunda División B – Group 2 (the third tier of Spanish football). They were founded as recently as 2009, and represent the city of Logroño, which is the capital of the autonomous region of La Rioja and situated on the River Ebro. Logroño is positioned in the north of Spain, near to the Basque border.
UDL (and local rivals SD Logroñés) uses the red and white stripes from the clubs who previously represented the city of Logroño. Previous club Club Deportivo Logroñés played in the striped shirts from 1940 until their sad demise in 2009 (including playing a stint in La Liga in the late 1980s and early 1990s), and they took their shirts from Club Deportivo Logroño, who played between 1929 and 1935 in the lower divisions of Spanish football. The clubs probably took the colours from the flag of the city, which has a white background with a prominent red saltire.
Algeciras Club de Fútbol currently play in the Segunda División B – Group 4. They were founded in 1912 and represent the city of Algerciras, situated on the southern tip of Andalusia and Spain, and opposite to the British colony of Gibraltar on the Bay of Gibraltar. It was through Gibraltar that football first came to the city, with the club playing its first game against the Gibraltarian side, Alexandra, in 1912.
Their red and white stripes are adopted from Southampton Football Club, as their football kit was available to buy in Gibraltar at the time.
CD Don Benito
Club Deportivo Don Benito also play in the Segunda División B – Group 4, alongside Algeciras CF. Historically a team who have competed in the fourth tier of Spanish football for the majority of their history, they represent the large town of Don Benito. Don Benito is situated in the centre of Extremadura, to the east of the larger cities of Mérida and Badajoz, and not far away from the Spanish-Portuguese border.
Don Benito’s shirt colours were chosen as the red colour apparently represented the team’s courage and strength, while white symbolised the purity in sports conduct. In addition, the red and white colours of the shirt also coincide with the flag of the town, which is two-thirds white, and one-third red.
There are also numerous clubs who play in the eighteen regional leagues of the Tercera División who also play in red and white striped shirts. The list is as follows:
- Alondras CF
- L’Entregu CF
- UD Llanera
- Club Siero
- Selaya FC
- SD Torina
- Pasaia KE / CD Pasajes
- C.d’E. Manresa
- UE Vilassar de Mar
- CD Acero
- CDA Navalcarnero
- Atlético Bembibre
- Zamora CF
- Atlético de Porcuna CF
- CP Almería
- UD Ciudad de Torredonjimeno
- CE Manacor
- CD Santanyí
- CA River Ebro
- SD Logroñés
- UD Barbastro
- CF Illueca
- Atlético Monzón
- CD Pedroñeras
- CD Torrijos
Clube Desportivo das Aves have played three seasons in the top flight of Portuguese football, the Primeira Liga, having been promoted from the second tier in 2017. They are based in the small industrial town of Aves, in the far north-west of the country, near the city of Guimarães. In 2018, they shockingly defeated Sporting CP 2–1 in the final, to win their first ever Portuguese Cup (Taça de Portugal).
Aves first adopted red shirts in honour of the Belgian “Red Devils” national team in 1931. However white stripes were added to the shirt in 1935, no doubt to differentiate the team but also to allay any anti-communism feeling within the country at the time. They have maintained the stripes ever since.
Leixões Sport Club is based in the fishing port city of Matosinhos, situated on the north-western coast of Portugal. Leixões are one of the oldest clubs in Portuguese football, and are named after a known group of promintary rocks outside of the port. Os Bebés are former winners of the Taça de Portugal, upsetting Porto 2-0 on their opponent’s own ground in the 1961 final.
Historically a club who competed within the top flight of Portuguese football, and having a rivalry with FC Porto, they were relegated in 1977, where they have spent the majority of their history in the second tier. After last being in the Primera Liga between 2008 and 2010, they have continued to play in the second tier LigaPro since the 2010-11 season.
Sport Club Praiense are an Azorean team who play in the Portuguese Campeonato de Portugal (third tier of Portuguese football). They are from the region of Praia da Vitória, the eastern half of the island of Terceira, in the Azores archipelago. They share the island with fellow Terceiran clubs, SC Angrense and Fontinhas.
Last season they won Serie D of the Campeonato and reached the promotion play-offs, but failed to gain promotion to the LigaPro.
Louletano Desportos Clube is a club from Loulé, a city within the district of the Algarve city of Faro, situated on Portugal’s southern coast. They currently play in the Portuguese Campeonato de Portugal, and used to share the Estádio do Algarve (which was used in Euro 2004) with local rivals, Farense, before both clubs moved out of the 30,000 seater stadium.
Last season, the club finished in ninth position in Serie D of the Campeonato.
Clube Condeixa are a newly promoted team into the Portuguese Campeonato de Portugal after winning the Coimbra FA District Championship in 2018-19. They are from the town of Condeixa-a-Nova, located in the district of Coimbra, situated in central Portugal.
That concludes the second part of the ‘Red and White Stripes’ series. In the next few episodes, I will look to look at other European countries, such as the Netherlands, France and Italy, where other prevalent ‘candystripe‘ clubs play. I had intended to do all the European leagues in one blog, but it took became apparent that it needed to broken down into regions, so more European regions will appear soon.
If you have any other suggestions of teams who play in red and white vertical striped shirts in either Spain, Portugal or other countries, please either comment below or tweet me @The94thMin. I would love to hear your suggestions.
Finally, I am nearly into the fourth month of doing a charity challenge of staying sober for the entirety of 2020! It’s not been easy (especially considering what has happened recently with COVID-19) but I am hoping to raise a lot of money for the mental health charity, MIND. So if you would like to see how I am progressing in my challenge, or even be kind enough to add a donation, the link is here: