In the third part of a new feature, Nischal guides us through his favourite Chelsea kit and what it means to him as a lifelong Chelsea fan.
Football shirts should not be important. After all, they are just pieces of fabric plastered with brands and a badge to cap it off.
But despite that, they represent something special. They epitomise priceless memories and unforgettable matches, especially for Chelsea. I have always loved Chelsea kits, yet none are more significant than the 2012/13 home shirt.
It was the first Chelsea home shirt I had – my first kit was the white goalkeeper one from the previous season – and it is one I cherish to this day. I got the number eight on the back, a homage to Frank Lampard. It proved to be a great season for Lampard, becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The lighter shade of blue was refreshing, but the gold trim on the kit is what makes it so appealing. The blend of blue and gold looked immaculate, a quite simply stunning kit to the eye. It was the first time that colour combination was seen on a Chelsea kit since 2006, when the club marked its centenary year with the Premier League title.
But it represents so much more than that.
As well as its personal significance, the gold was a spectacular symbol for London. It was originally used in honour of the capital, with the city hosting the 2012 Olympic Games ahead of the 2012/13 season. It was an incredible summer, and experiencing the Olympics in my home city is something I will never forget.
Yet, the gold came to represent so much more, when Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012. The Blues had debuted their new kit six days earlier, on the final day of the league season. It was almost a blessing in disguise, introducing a gold-trimmed kit the year Chelsea were crowned Champions of Europe.
The gold not only celebrated the rich sporting history of London, but also the continental success of the club. Then kit manufacturers adidas had played it to perfection, designing a kit which would be remembered and celebrated for many years.
Chelsea created countless memories wearing their golden kit, in a season filled with iconic moments.
Away victories at both Arsenal and Tottenham instantly spring to mind, including Gary Cahill’s stunning strike in the latter. The 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa remains Chelsea’s joint-largest Premier League win, not to mention Demba Ba’s winner in the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Manchester United.
It is a kit associated with some fantastic players, whether they were Blues debutants or entering the prime of their career.
Club legend Eden Hazard and captain César Azpilicueta both joined from France that year, signing from Lille and Marseille respectively. Juan Mata – one of my favourite ever players – had a stunning season with 19 goals and 35 assists, and Fernando Torres had his best ever campaign in blue, scoring 22 times across all competitions.
Chelsea ended the 2012/13 season with silverware once again, adding a new trophy to the cabinet. Branislav Ivanović’s 93rd minute header sealed a 2-1 win over Benfica in the Europa League Final, as the Blues celebrated European success in Amsterdam.
It was the perfect way to end a superb season- and it was all achieved in a gold-trimmed kit.
To celebrate the launch of our new home kit, we are teaming up with The Kit Supplier (@thekitsupplier1) to give away FOUR retro shirts of your choice.
To enter, click here and follow the instructions!
Read more of my work on Nischal’s Blog: nischalsp.wordpress.com