Leaked photos of a forthcoming pre-match jersey for Premier League side Arsenal show a pattern derived from an unusual source.
According to Footy Headlines, manufacturer adidas has developed the new pre-match jersey in partnership with Transport for London (TfL), the agency that administers public bus and underground train (or “tube”) service in London. The shirt will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 1932 renaming of the Gillespie Road tube station to Arsenal station.
The pattern on the front of the jerseys is taken from the upholstery pattern on benches in some London tube cars.
The Arsenal crest appears on the shirt in blue and white, while the adidas logo is solid white. The sponsor logo appears in white outlined with blue. The mock turtleneck collar is solid blue.
The back of the jersey is a darker shade of solid blue, with a custom logo on the back collar inspired by the London Underground logo.
According to Wikipedia, Arsenal moved to a new stadium in the Highbury district of north London, near the Gillespie Road station, in 1913. In the following years, efforts were made to rename the station, with legendary Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman an ardent supporter of the change.
On Oct. 31, 1932, the station was officially renamed “Arsenal (Highbury Hill),” though the parenthetical suffix was dropped sometime around 1960. It remains the only tube station in London named directly after a football club.
In 2006, Arsenal moved out of Highbury and into nearby Emirates Stadium. Arsenal station is still used by many supporters heading to and from matches.
Footy Headlines also points out that this is not the first time adidas has collaborated with TfL. To mark the 15th anniversary of the Oyster card — a reloadable tap-to-pay card used across the London transit system — in 2018, adidas released three TfL-inspired sneakers.
It’s expected the new Arsenal pre-match jersey will launch in early January 2022.
All photos, including feature photo, courtesy Footy Headlines unless otherwise noted