Kettering Town have revealed a special retro 40th anniversary kit to mark being the first side in the UK to don a shirt sponsor on their jerseys.
On 24th January 1976 the Poppies took to the pitch against Bath City with their traditional red jersey featuring the name ‘Kettering Tyres’ across the middle of the chest. It was the brainchild of Derek Dougan aka ‘Doog’ who had retired from professional football and became the CEO of Kettering Town.
A week later Town wore the shirts again away against Weymouth but the FA were unhappy with the move and ordered the removal of the logo. Dougan not to be deterred removed four letters claiming that ‘Kettering T’ stood for Kettering Town. Unimpressed the FA threatened The Poppies with a £1000 fine so the full Kettering Tyres logo was removed.
The following season Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and Kettering Town applied for the right to carry sponsorship on their jerseys, and in June 1977 the FA agreed although Kettering were unable to attract a shirt sponsor.
To commemorate one of the most significant moments in UK football Kettering Town will wear replica 1976 home shirts featuring the ‘Kettering Tyres’ lettering across the front for the Evo Stick Southern Premier fixture at home to Stratford Town on Saturday 16th January and coincidentally away against Weymouth on Saturday 23rd January 2016.