Saturday, April 13, 2013

Why Newcastle wear black and white

Unlike many clubs, Newcastle United have traditionally kept their famous black and white colours since the day before the turn of the 20th Century when the Club's directors decided to bin their pioneering outfit as worn by Newcastle East End.

It was way back on August 2nd 1894, when the Magpies decided to discard the red of United's founding club.

The East Enders pulled on all red shirts then, as well as a jersey of, amazingly, red and white stripes.

Meanwhile, their great rivals for Tyneside prominence over the first decade of organised football, and the other half of Newcastle United's origins, Newcastle West End pulled on various colours.

It has been established that they played in red and black-dark blue hooped shirts.

The Club's board meeting journal record the change in colours: "It was agreed that the Club's colours should be changed from red shirts and white knickers to black and white shirts (two inch stripe) and dark knickers."

This would stop the frequent colour clashes which were occurring in the Second Division at the time.

Nowhere though, in those official minutes does it state why they selected black and white. And there is still no definitive answer to that mystery.

A few theories have been put forward over time.

The most popular surrounds a fervent supporter from the city's Blackfriars monastery, Father Dalmatius Houtmann.

The Dutchman was often to be seen with United's players in the years before the turn of the century, the monastery being just a goal-kick away from St. James' Park.

He was dressed in a traditional black and white habit, and it has been suggested that the Club decided to adopt his colours.

Another legend that has been handed down over the years is the story of a pair of Magpies nesting in the old Victorian Stand at St. James' Park.

It was said that United's players of the time became so attached to the two birds that they picked their distinctive colours of black and white and named themselves the Magpies.

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