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End of an Errea Part Three - 2005-2008

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 Three looks at arguably the most boring period of Errea's association with the club in terms of on the pitch, with relegation from the Championship and two seasons of League One mediocrity. It was anything but boring off it, as the pink and grey and Tour De France goalkeeper kits showed fashion at their best.

The Maroon Away Kit 2005-2007:
The first kit that Albion fans were given a say in choosing with a public vote allowing them to pick between all maroon and a green and black stripe effort. The maroon won the day and the return of the club crest in place of the brown seagull also did - while only a cynic would point out the fact all the training wear had already been decided as being maroon, so it must have been sheer coincidence that the colour won the fan vote. Used as an away kit in 2005-06 and the third kit in 2006-07, it was made of the same tight fitting material as the Palookavile kit which wasn't ideal for the more rotund of supporters.
The Tour De France Goalkeeper Kit 2005-2006:
In a period of time before Team Sky even existed and Britain's dominance of world cycling was a mere pipedream, this goalkeepers kit showed great vision of what was to come by channelling wonderfully the spirit of the Tour de France and recreating its yellow leaders jersey. Featuring black and white down the sleeves, it was worn with black shorts and black socks with Wayne Henderson making excellent use of it during the memorable 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in 2005-06. Sadly it didn't survive longer than one season which is of huge regret.
The Green Tour De France Goalkeeper Kit 2005-2006:
Errea were obviously aware that cycling wasn't a particularly big deal in England at this point and so their contingency plan was to produce an identical version of the Tour de  France kit but make it in green. This number again featured black shorts and socks and was used sparingly with the maroon kit to the point where this is the only photo we were able to find of it, Wayne Henderson looking in despair as The Leeds United scored a 95th minute equaliser to rescue a 3-3 draw at Elland Road. Another jersey that was used for just the one season.
The Two Tone Blue Goalkeeper Kit 2005-2006:
2005-06 really was an outstanding year to be a goalkeeper at Brighton and Hove Albion and it wasn't just the Tour de France kits that made it so. The other design was a potentially boring one of just a small patch of secondary colour on the sleeves. However, the colours that were used for the two jerseys featuring this design made them absolutely brilliant ones. First it was the return of all that old chestnut, the different shades of blue that coupled a dark navy blue with a sky blue and was rounded off with navy blue socks. Not worn nearly enough however.
The Grey and Pink Goalkeeper Kit 2005-2006:
Before this snazzy little number came along we thought it should never be acceptable to combine grey and pink together, let alone for it to look remotely stylish. But that is why Italy leads the world in fashion design and Britain does not. An absolutely stunning kit that is up there with one of the best Errea produced, it is a travesty the only image of it we have been able to locate is of Wayne Henderson's (admittedley fine) rear. Exactly the same as the two-tone blue version seen above, it was coupled perfectly with white socks just to complete the flair look.
The Crystal Palace Away Kit 2005:
Crystal Palace wear red and blue stripes, which is obviously not an ideal scenario when your three kits consist of blue and white stripes, maroon and navy blue. The simple answer of course is to play in a fourth kit of the season when you visit Selhurst Park - an all white number. Billed as a one off, the club stated that it wouldn't be available to buy by supporters but that was of course reckoning without Paul McShane popping up with a 79th minute header to secure an historic 1-0 victory. Never one to miss out on an opportunity to cash in, a limited number of shirts complete with inscription went on sale.
The Blue Backed Home Kit 2006-2008:
The Albion's return to League One after relegation from the Championship also saw the return to the more traditional shade of blue for the home kit. This was in fact one of the bluest kits we'd had since the 1980s with both the sleeves and the back being completely blue. It was rounded off with the now traditional white shorts and white socks. The club crest also made it's return after the use of a seagull on it's own on the Argentina kit. Lasting the two seasons of 2006-07 and 2007-08, this was to be the final regular season home jersey that would feature Skint as a sponsor.
The White Away Kit 2006-2008:
Buoyed by the success and popularity of the all white one off Crystal Palace kit of the previous season, a permanent white away kit was used for the first time since 1993-94 in 2006-07 and continued it's run as third choice kit in 2007-08 as well. There shirt featured a minimal amount of blue trim with the shorts and socks also being blue which meant that it was easily interchangeable with the home kit. Bizarrely the sponsor was also in white which at times could make it a challenge to see - not least when chasing around Carlos Tevez in an FA Cup third round hammering at West Ham.
The Aqua and Gold Arrowed Goalkeepers Kit 2006-2008:
It really was a true golden period in terms of Errea's goalkeeper kit designs as their 2006-08 produce continued the excellent work of the previous season. It is rare that we find a number one jersey that survives more than a year as first choice but a sign of how good this stunning aqua and gold number was is that it did exactly that being used consistently in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Featuring a bizarre arrow pattern on the sleeves and very thin stripes on the front, it went together magnificently with navy shorts and socks to be one of the most successful keeper kits of the entire 15 years.
The Navy and Gold Arrowed Goalkeepers Kit 2006-2008:
This navy and gold arrowed kit was another absolute beast which will unfortunately probably be best remembered for Wayne Henderson's untimely slip in the 90th minute away at AFC Bournemouth on New Years Day 2007 that all but ended his Brighton career. Featuring the same design as the aqua and gold, it merely replaced the aqua with navy blue for startling effect and was the only one of the keepers kits of the 2006-2008 period to feature shorts with an accompanying arrow pattern. Rarely used, particularly after Henderson's error after rumours abounded it was in fact cursed.
The White and Gold Arrowed Goalkeepers Kit 2006-2008:
Not enough goalkeeper kits feature white and a colour other than prominent black for our liking and that is something that was addressed in glorious style with this particular effort. Again, it took the arrow design of used white as it's mean colour along with the gold but what was more impressive was the fact that rather than take the aforementioned easy way out of black shirts, gold shorts were used alongside it to complete a thoroughly foreign and flair looking number. Throw in white socks and you have a kit that although a nightmare to clean did however look amazing. Even when losing 4-1 to Crewe Alexandra.
The Maroon and Gold Arrowed Goalkeepers Kit 2006-2008:
Criminally underused in its first season of 2006-07, this number really took off with Michel Kuipers' return to first team duty in 2007-08 after the maroon third kit had been ditched. It effectively became second choice goalkeeper uniform behind the aqua in that campaign, being used regularly away from home in particular in combination with the all yellow away kit that came into being that season. The combination of maroon and gold was particularly pleasing with the standard issue navy blue shorts that seemed to be the norm around this time accompanying.
The Goldstone Anniversary Home Kit 2007:
Just shy of the tenth anniversary of the last game at The Goldstone, Doncaster Rovers made their first visit to Brighton since that fateful April 1997 day for a League One Withdean encounter. And what better way to mark the occasion - not to mention getting the tills rattling - than with a one off special edition kit for the game? It was identical in design to the shirts, shorts and socks used when Stuart Storer wrote himself into Albion folklore with the Skint logo even being changed to use the same lettering as the Sandtex sponsor from back in the day. Even the numbers on the back were in red for old times sake.
The All Yellow Away Kit 2007-2008:
Obviously having a blue and white home kit and an all white away kit led to a few problems. Namely, what the hell happens when you face a team in white? With the maroon third choice kit consigned to history, the answer was a new away number of all yellow. Originally, it was intended to be used as just a stand alone shirt that would go with the current combination of blue shorts and white socks but it was very quickly realised that is was nothing short of an insult to Brazil for Brighton to wear such colours and so yellow shorts and socks were deployed.
The Goodbye Skint Home Kit 2008:
The last game of 2007-08 saw the Albion say goodbye to Skint as club sponsors after nine years. And just like when all good relationships come to an end, it was decided to celebrate with a one-off shirt for the visit of League One champions Swansea City to Withdean. It harked back to the ever popular first kit that both Errea and Skint were involved in from 1999, with the same sponsors logo, shirt design and white shorts-blue socks combination. Added was a little gold and the inscription "team mates" above the sponsor logo. Brings a tear to our eye still to this day.

What a glorious era for goalkeeper kits but which was your favourite? What did you make of three "one-off" shirts in three seasons? Money making genius, a rip off or totally justified?



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