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End of an Errea Part Two - 2002-2005

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), takes a look back at every shirt worn by the Albion that Errea came up with.

Part Two takes in the play off season, the Batman kits and with a hindsight an obscene number of goalkeeper outfits including the infamous Yelldell pink.

The Play Off Final Home Kit 2002-2004:
The third home kit of Errea's stint will best be remembered for it's appearance coupled with blue shorts and socks in that most memorable of days that was the Division Two play-off final victory over Bristol City at the Millennium Stadium in 2004. It of course had some other not so great moments, such as Martin Hinshelwood's reign in charge and the 12 game losing streak that effectively relegated the Albion the season before that wonderful Cardiff afternoon. The sponsors logo was frankly horrible given how cool the last one looked and it was the first kit to feature both white shorts and socks.
The Batman Away Kit 2002-2004:
How did this ever get put into production? It is pretty horrific to think that somebody could come up with the idea of putting a giant seagull on the front of a black kit as it is, let alone the fact that said seagull ended up looking like a giant bat. Lasted one season as the away kit during 2002-03 before being relegated to third kit status the following year during which time it was used in just four league games - away at Blackpool, Swindon, Rushden and Diamonds and QPR. And it was of course the shirt used for that 5-0 defeat at Selhurst Park. Painful memories all round.
The Batman Third Kit 2002-2003:
Identical in design to the away kit, this third kit at least had the good grace not to be black and so appeared to be less of a Batman based theme. The "seagull" still looked bloody ridiculous however. Lasting just the one season, it was used for eight games in 2002-03 and had a quite remarkable record of being used in just one single victory - the 2-1 success against Reading at the Madjeski Stadium in front of the Sky television cameras. It's most fateful hour came when being worn away at Grimsby Town for the final time as the Albion were relegated back into Division Two.
The Silver Goalkeeper Kit 2002-2003:
One of the best things about Errea's work down the years have been their goalkeeping kits with some wonderful designs showered upon the multitude of men to wear the gloves for the Albion. 2002-2003 was an absolute abomination however with the most boring of designs possible used across the board. The most popular of which was the silver one seen here modelled by Michel Kuipers. Used both home and away, it came with black shorts and black socks and was used by the Former Dutch Marine when he suffered his career threatening injury away at Norwich.
The Gold Goalkeeper Kit 2002-2003:
Look familiar? This is the gold version of the goalkeeping kit which is about as good as a description as you can get for it. Generally plain and boring, at least when the pensioner Dave Beasant pitched up at Withdean he decided to mix things up a little by combining it with white socks which sent a ripple through the fan base such was the controversy of the decision. This particular number lasted another season, being used at the start of 2003-04 by Ben Roberts until a new batch of far more interesting kits turned up a few weeks into the campaign.
The White Goalkeeper Kit 2002-2003:
So we already have the silver goalkeeping kit, as seen above. What, then, was the point in bringing out a white version of it? White and silver are about as close as two colours as you get so the logic behind this one was frankly baffling. It was however the favoured choice of Andy "Stumble" Petterson which makes it ok in our books. Just like it's gold cousin, it also made it into the 2003-04 season for a couple of outings, most notably in the season opener at Oldham Athletic with Ben Roberts wearing white shorts and socks with it to look like some sort of religious fanatic.
The Green Goalkeepers Kit 2002-2003:
The emerald green goalkeepers kit fulfilled the role of fourth choice during it's one season of use in 2002-2003. And it is not hard to see why it remained pretty unfavoured by the Withdean custodians with it's list of matches including that 5-0 game at Palace and the calamitous home defeat to Grimsby Town early on in the season. It was a bit of a shame actually as this is probably our favourite one of the four just because it is hard for somebody wearing such a vivid shade of green to look boring. Particularly when that man is Michel Kuipers.
The All Yellow Away Kit 2003-2005:
For many people, the traditional away colours of Brighton and Hove Albion are yellow and so this was a return to the past as the first yellow away kit in six years. The badge was dispensed with in favour of a seagull that looked like it had stolen too many chips from locals on the promenade and was as a result rather podgy. It was also a nightmare to clean with many reports of said Seagull turning brown after too many times through the washing machine. It lasted two seasons and introduced the longest serving Skint logo. Had several memorable outings, chiefly in the FA Cup away at Tottenham in 2005.
The Play Off Final Goalkeepers Kit 2003-2004:
This was more like it. Following on from the terribly plain efforts of the previous season, we got a set of goalkeepers kits with a bit more colour to them for the play off season. Ben Roberts' preferred number was this green one with black down the sleeves and under the arms and a white trim. Worn with black shorts and socks, it famously stopped that Tommy Mooney penalty in the play off semi final against Swindon before going onto keep a clean sheet in the final itself. So popular it was even used at the start of the following campaign in the Championship.
The Gold and Black Goalkeepers Kit 2003-2004:
The gold and black version of the 2003-2004 goalkeepers kit was mainly used at Withdean in the middle part of the campaign once the previous years boring numbers had been dispensed with. It was exactly the same design as the other three although a little plainer, featuring just two relatively boring colours in the form of gold and black. Another shirt that carried forward into the following season, it played a key role in the play off winning campaign being used in Ben Roberts' remarkable run of seven clean sheets in the final eight games of the campaign.
The Silver and Ruby Goalkeepers Kit 2003-2004:
One of the best goalkeepers kits Errea produced in their early years working as the Albion's technical partner. The idea of combining silver and ruby red would have been frowned upon by a lot of fashionistas out there but thankfully they didn't listen to the critics, producing this wonderful number. While black was the name of the game for the shorts and socks for the other keeper kits of the era, this one used navy blue to match the lettering of the Skint sponsorship deal. Criminally underused for our money in favour of the less flair gold and green numbers.
The Sky and Navy Goalkeepers Kit 2003-2004:
Errea liked mixing their differing shades of blue and this was no different. A sky blue shirt featuring navy blue panelling with navy blue shorts and socks was a nice break from the norm and allows us to mention 50 Shades of Blue again for the purposes of picking up randy women from Google. As the poor photo we had to settle for indicates, (Ben Roberts saving a penalty at Tranmere, if you are wondering) this was another kit that was hardly worn, only being able to appear when we faced a team away from home who wore all white.
The Argentina Home Kit 2004-2006:
There is only so much you can do in terms of designing a blue and white striped kit. So in order to radicalise things a bit, the kit used for our two season stay in the Championship under Mark McGhee had the traditional shade of blue changed in favour of a lighter shade. This made the Albion look like Argentina or Huddersfield Town. Unfortunately, they played more like the latter. The stripes didn't run all the way to the bottom of the shirt either with a huge white gap being left making it appear as though the designer couldn't be bothered to complete it.
The Christmas Tree Goalkeeper Kit 2004-2005:
Brace yourselves, 2004-2005 was an absolutely ridiculous season for the number of goalkeeper kits used. This was the favoured one, an all dark green number with black under the sleeves. There was a lot of variety this season with the kit being worn with black shorts and socks and then with green shorts and white socks on other occasions. Four versions of the outfit existed, although we have been unable to find a copy of the gold one which is a shame as that was arguably the best of the lot. It was this green number that was worn by Chris May on his only first team appearance.
The All Red Goalkeeper Kit 2004-2005:
The first proper red goalkeepers kit in Brighton and Hove Albion history lasted just the one season for 2004-2005. Strictly used away from home, it was a big favourite of Rami Shaaban during his brief spell at Withdean as well as being frequently worn by Michel Kuipers prior to his season ending injury of January 2004. This particular number had a plethora of short and sock options to go with it, with black shorts and socks, red shorts and black socks and red shorts and white socks all being mixed and matched. You just never knew what you were going to get.
The Coventry City Goalkeeper Kit 2004-2005:
Another blue goalkeepers kit, another one that could hardly ever be worn due to the fact Brighton and Hove Albion play in blue. This was in fairness probably the best of the lot when it came to blue, resembling a Coventry City kit in both colour and design with sky blue shirt and navy blue under the arms. It was often worn with blue shorts and white socks or as seen here away at Nottingham Forest with navy shorts and socks. Most memorably worn away at Spurs, it's outings were restricted to away games against teams who didn't wear blue when Brighton wore their away kit. Hardly ever, then.
The Palookaville Third Kit 2004-2006:
Not many football clubs can have introduced a special kit to promote a music album, but that is exactly what the Albion did in October 2004. Originally intended as a one-off, the Palookaville kit was worn at home against Sheffield United with Withdean being rechristened Palookaville for the day to promote Fatboy Slim's latest offerings. It proved to be an extremely popular number and subsequently lasted a lot longer than one home game, becoming the third kit for both 2004-05 and 2005-06. It's skin tight material was however less flattering on some of the larger among the Seagulls fanbase.
The Green Palookaville Goalkeeper Kit 2004-2005:
Four standard goalkeepers kits for the season not enough? Didn't think so, hence the decision to introduce three more with the Palookaville special edition kit. The first of which was the most regularly worn, a green shirt wirh white sleeves and black trim. It could go with any number of combinations, including the black shorts and white socks shown here against Sheffield United or green shorts and white socks as was worn away at Sunderland a few weeks later. Made of the same tight fitting material as it's outfield brother, it looked particularly good on Michel's muscley torso.
The White Palookaville Goalkeeper Kit 2004:
This one caused chaos when the pictures of it were released, with many people suspecting that it was in fact a fourth outfield kit of the season. No, it was just a totally unneeded goalkeepers jersey. Worn with black shorts and white socks, it was used a grand total of twice with one of those being in the performance that pretty much summed up the Mark McGhee era, that 1-0 win away at West Ham United. Again made of the figure hugging material, it was a popular buy for fans who wanted to show off their muscles despite hardly ever being used.
The David Yelldell Pink Goalkeeper Kit 2005:
This kit was never meant to be worn in a competitive game. A handful of fans managed to buy it, but in 2005 wearing pink was still considered an incredibly gay thing to do. Especially somewhere as backwards as in Leeds. So when the Albion went to Elland Road and the referee changed into yellow at half time, it was a disaster waiting to happen. David Yelldell, on his debut, faced the prospect of 45 minutes in front of the home support in the pink shirt. The abuse was something else but the young loanee put on the performance of his life in a 1-1 draw. The pink shirt was disappointingly never seen again.