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Special Edition Kits

When the Albion travel to Dagenham and Redbridge, supposedly on Boxing Day weather permitting, they will appear on the Victoria Road pitch in yet another one off, special edition kit.

While the joke always used to be about Manchester United changing their uniforms every few months in order to cop a load more money off their fans, with a grand total of six special edition kits introduced since 2004, the Seagulls must surely be able to lay claim to the crown?

In the defence of the club, not many of those shirts have been made available to supporters. But whether it be celebrating the end of a sponsorship deal or having to introduce a new colour because the chairman, with wonderful hindsight, produced a home, away and third kit all featuring blue, six alternative kits to the main three in seven seasons is some record. We take a look back at these shirts and just what forced them into being used:

2004-2005 - The Palookaville Kit

The dark blue Palookaville kit began the trend of special edition kits when it was bought out in October 2004 to publicise Fatboy Slim's album of the same name. Making it's debut at home to Sheffield United when Withdean was renamed Palookaville, it was available to fans and became much more than a one-off, with the club adopting it as it's third choice kit. It even came complete with a green, black and white goalkeepers jersey and lasted the distance as third choice for both 2004-05 and 2005-06, being worn in memorable games as Mark McGhee kept the Albion in the Championship against all the odds including the 1-0 win away at West Ham United, a 2-1 victory at Sheffield United and 1-1 draws at both The Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

2005-2006 - The Palace Away Kit

Palace's red and blue stripes were deemed to not only clash with the Argentinian-style light blue and white home kit the Albion were modelling at the time, but also the maroon away kit and the Palookaville third choice kit. The solution was to release a fourth, one-off shirt for the game at Selhurst Park on October 18th - an all white number. Only used this once, it will go down in Albion folklore as being what Paul McShane wore when he scored the only goal of the game in the 78th minute to give Brighton a famous win over their bitter rivals. Despite pledging not to release it to fans, the victory paved the way for a fine piece of marketing as a limited number of the shirts went on sale completed with the embodied result to mark the occasion.

2006-2007 - The Goldstone Anniversary Kit

Just shy of the tenth anniversary since the Albion and Doncaster faced each other in the last game at The Goldstone Ground, Rovers made their first appearance in Brighton since that fateful day in a League One clash at Withdean on April 2nd 2007. In order to mark the anniversary, the club decided to bring out another one-off kit for fans to purchase. This one was a remake of the shirt, shorts and socks used when Stuart Storer lifted the Seagulls off the bottom of the third division table for the first time in seven months. The Skint font was changed to resemble the Sandtex sponsor of the day, the old, round badge with the red background made its return and blue shorts and white socks also came back with the numbers on the back of the players kits even in red.
2007-2008 - The Thank You Skint Shirt
Skint Records called to an end their eight season sponsorship of the Albion at the end of the 2007-08 season, which was the perfect excuse to produce a one-off shirt for the last game of the season, the visit of League One champions Swansea City. This was to thank Skint for their sponsorship through the return to Brighton and the subsequent three promotions and two relegations that followed. The design echoed back to the first kit their named adorned back at the start of the 1999-2000 with the round sponsors logo etched in gold and the badge on the left of the shirt. Their was also the inscription of "Team Mates 1999-2008" in gold just above the sponsors logo. White shorts and blue socks were also used in a return to the colours of the first Withdean season.
2008-2009 - The All Blue Cock Up Replacement Kit
As far as cock ups go, Dick Knight's designing of the 2008-09 kits was a pretty big one. A home kit consisting of blue and white stripes, an away kit consisting of yellow and dark blue stripes and a dark blue back, and a third kit consisting of all sky blue begged the question - what happens when we face a team that wears blue? The answer came in December when the Seagulls travelled to Shrewsbury for a Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Section Semi Final and the referee decided he wasn't happy with a blue v blue scenario, leading to a fourth kit to be deployed - an all white shirt. This was not available to buy by supporters and despite the claims that it was a one-off kit, it had to be used again when Dean White led the Seagulls to a 1-0 win at Millwall in February.
2010-2011 - The Dagenham Away Kit

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And so on Boxing Day 2010 (presuming their is no more arctic weather on the way), the Albion will trot out to face Dagenham and Redbridge in their sixth one-off kit in seven seasons. With both the blue and white home kit and the red and black away kit clashing with the Daggers red and blue stripes, the club have announced the return of an all white number that will not be available to fans. Surely the biggest question about this remains, not why the club didn't look at Dagenham's kit and work out we may need a new number accordingly, but - what happens if it snows? Having had the lead at the top of League One whittled down to three points, the last thing Gus Poyet's men will need is being camouflaged from each other.

Which is your favourite of the "one off Albion kits" from down the years? What do you think of another one being needed for the trip to Dagenham? Let us know with the comments form below.


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