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End of an Errea Part One - 1999-2002

Errea have made their last Brighton and Hove Albion kit after 15 long years with the club naming Nike as their "technical partner" from the start of the 2014/15 season.

The Italian company proved to be popular with fans having produced some of the best kits in the clubs history as well as being around for some of the most successful times, particularly with the move to The Amex.

In this mammoth five part series (presuming we don't get bored and give up after three), WeAreBrighton.com takes a look back at every shirt worn by the Albion that Errea came up with.

Part One focuses on their first - and arguably most popular - effort, going from 1999 through two title winning seasons in 2001 and 2002.

The Cool Home Kit 1999-2000:
Errea's first home kit remains one of their most popular. International record label Skint were a slightly more glamorous sponsor than local Italian restaurant Donatello and with the feel good factor around the town with the Albion's homecoming, this shirt flew off the shelves in it's droves. White shorts were used for the first time since the 1980's and even an overweight man such as Warren Aspinall could look cool. This was one of the few Errea kits that wasn't bespoke for the Albion, with Cheltenham Town wearing a red and white version in the same season.
The AC Milan Away Kit 1999-2002:
Just as cool as that home kit was the away shirt, exactly the same design in an AC Milan style red and black stripes with black shorts and black shorts. It ended up being the longest serving kit of the Errea era, lasting for the three seasons of 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. It also means it is the joint most successful shirt in Brighton and Hove Albion history having been used in two title winning seasons. Such a good design that the club tried to replicate it ten years later but needless to say without the same success. Rod Thomas can be seen modelling it here.
The Tipex Tyre Mark Goalkeeper Kit 1999-2000:
One of three goalkeeper kits used in 1999-2000, this was the most frequently worn by Mark Walton and Mark Ormerod between the sticks. Encompassing dark blue shirts, shorts and socks, it also featured a bizarre white line down the sides which stopped semi-abruptly, almost as though a bike had driven through a load of tipex or white paint, run over the goalkeeper wearing it and then braked as it approached his head. This shirt was not available for sale in the club shop, which was hardly surprising given the fact that it was in fact pretty horrible.
The 1930's Television Goalkeeper Kit 1999-2000:
Thankfully Brighton and Hove Albion didn't feature on television at all during 1999-2000, otherwise viewers might have ended up adjusting their sets when confronted by this effort of grey, black and white that looked like it could have come straight from the BBC's live broadcast of the Queens Coronation. It was mainly used with the AC Milan kit in the first season at Withdean which meant that fans who attended home games didn't leave up ending depressed due to a lack of colour on show although it was worn for the first ever game at the Theatre of Trees, that 6-0 demolition of Mansfield.
The Standard Errea Goalkeeper Kit 1999-2000:
One of the biggest worries about Nike taking over has been the loss of designs that are exclusive to the Albion, with us wearing just a blue and white version of Barcelona's kit for example. People say Errea never did it, but this yellow goalkeepers kit was the biggest culprit being used by not only Cheltenham Town but also the companies then biggest clients, Middlesbrough in the Premier League. There was also a lime green version of this which Boro also used and was produced as an Albion kit but was never worn during a first team game. Thank Christ, imagine Mark Walton in lime green.
The Yellow Tyre Mark Kit 2001-2002:
Errea must have gone through a stage of being obsessed with making their goalkeepers appear as though they had been run over in the early 90's. This design went even further than the tipex one of the previous season, incorporating a large and bold black car tyre mark down both sides of a yellow jersey. Combined with black shorts and socks, this was the favoured kit of Michel Kuipers during the Division Three and Division Two title winning seasons, with him wearing it during the victory over Chesterfield at Withdean and when giving the performance of a lifetime against Bristol City.
The 50 Shades of Blue Goalkeepers Kit 2001-2002:
Ok, maybe 50 shades of blue is pushing it a bit but imagine how disappointed randy young women will be if they type that into Google and end up looking at a picture of Mark Cartwright. This shirt was favoured by Cartwright during his spell between the sticks in the Division Three title winning season and featured the same tyre print design as the other two kits. The difference being this number was in a delightful dark blue with royal blue as it's secondary colour and featured dark blue shorts and socks. So really, two shades of blue would be a better title.
The Ruby Goalkeepers Kit 2001-2002:
Having a red and black away kit at the time meant that having a red and black goalkeepers kit appeared to be a little, how shall we put this, pointless? Nonetheless, this effort survived two seasons and was mainly used away from home when the blue and white home kit was used or at home against teams wearing yellow, as Michel Kuipers can be seen doing against Port Vale. It was basically exactly the same design as the other two goalkeeping kits of the time but different in colour, with the dark red best being described as a lovely shade of ruby combined with black shorts and socks.
The Centenary Home Kit 2001-2002:
Not many teams change their home kit halfway through a season, but that is exactly what Brighton and Hove Albion did to celebrate the clubs 100th birthday in 2001. One of the better marketing moves to commemorate the centenary compared to say Dick Knight cutting a giant cake on the pitch at the AFC Bournemouth game, it employed exactly the same colours as the original Skint shirt with a blue stripe added to the shorts. The big difference came with the clubs badge being replaced by the City of Brighton and Hove's coat of arms.

Which one of the first crop of Errea Brighton and Hove Albion kits was your favourite? Will Nike be able to compete with such a beauty as their first effort? Let us know your thoughts with the comments form below.



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