Another new season, another new home kit for the Rovers. The striking new design was revealed on the official club website this week, with the news that it will be formally launched, and available to buy, at the fans’ forum event at the Stadium on Monday evening.
Of course clubs no longer simply bring out kits these days, instead they launch them, and Rovers’ latest strip (shown here as depicted on the club website in front of the new away kit) is no exception to this process. It too has been brought to us with the now typical marketing spiel from Nike in which the global sports brand tell us how this latest shirt is harder, better, faster, stronger than that which went before it. With this in mind, a crack unit was despatched from popular STAND HQ to intercept Nike’s PR Monkeys and they proved succesful, enabling us to wrestle the new strip’s marketing spiel from their über-cool faux-nerd leather satchel and break it to you here first…
TOP SECRET – PRESS RELEASE DR0612:
BACKGROUND TO 2012-13 NIKE DONCASTER HOME SHIRT LAUNCH
Nike are delighted to unveil their revolutionary new Doncaster Rovers home jersey to be worn for the season 2012-13. The kit embodies a period of transition at the club and marks a bold departure from the tired hoops which have come, in recent seasons, to symbolise defeat, despair, and an apparent lack of Plan B.
Instead the club has joined with us and created a vision of the future, enabling us to move forwards and make a bold, progressive move to an enigmatic, triumphant, dynamic black. The black of the shirt hints towards this bright tomorrow, actualizing how we first encounter the new day, through the darkness of the inside of our own eyelids, but similarly acknowledges the importance of the club’s past. Black pays homage to the role played by industry in the establishment of both Doncaster and the Rovers, black embodies the colour of coal mined in the local communities and used to power the steam trains manufactured in the town. The hard work, perseverance and mind-numbing tedium of industry continue to be reflected in the club today, as anyone who has tried to deal with the club’s marketing department can attest.
As a further tribute to the industry and tradition at the heart of Doncaster, and the club, the shirt itself is crafted from a unique and innovative material forged from the very base of the community. Woven from a blend of Bridon Steel Ropes and horse-hair collected from past winners of the St Leger and fused by Parkinsons Butterscotch. The shirt is then specially tailored into a duo-sleeved neck-holed torso-shroud making it adaptable for players and fans alike. The unique fabric offers little movement and an uncomfortable fit, thus perfectly embodying John Sheridan’s stint at Belle Vue.
The striking Question Mark design is inspired by the classic minimalist kit tailoring of the 1960s, most notably that of celebrated Rovers fan Frank Gorshin; The Riddler in the Batman television series. The Question Mark composition has also been chosen to give base to our football watching, serving as a telling reminder of the element of the unknowing which permeates the game, and draws us, as fans, back, week after week. Will they win? Will they lose? Will they draw? We do not know. We cannot know. It is unknown. And it is this excitement, this element of suspense, which we have strived to encapsulate within this shirt.
The badge is depicted in black and black, on black. This audacious colourway symbolises mourning, the mourning both of relegation from League Two and the departure of hometown hero Sam ‘der Kaiser’ Hird. In portraying the badge in black and black on black it not only echos the crest-less first club kit of 1879, but also becomes invisible, a presence which is known but unseen, thus denotative of past Rovers players Damian Plessis, Tomi Ameobi, Justin Jackson and Mirsad Bubaslovic.
Finally, and most importantly, in this new shirt we wanted to encapsulate the importance, the passion and the pride that supporters and players alike feel of their home club. We strived for one emblematic adornment that would simply, but effectively, epitomise the very embodiment of all that it means to represent your home against the rest of the world, encapturing the spirit of fellow Doncastrians; the bravery of Douglas Bader, the invention of Benjamin Huntsman, the doggedness of Kevin Keegan, the brazen boorishness of Jeremy Clarkson. And so, to this end, we added the big white words ‘Home Kit’.