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West Ham United got its start in the year 1895 under the name of the Thames Ironworks Football Club. It was renamed to West Ham United Football Club in the year 1900. During the early years, West Ham United played in the Western and Southern Leagues. They first joined the full Football League in 1919. As of 2007, West Ham United Football Club plays in the English Premier League.

The colours that are traditionally associated with West Ham United Football Club are claret and sky blue. During the early years of the team, however, West Ham went through some unusual uniform changes. The earliest club kit worn by West Ham was in solid colours of Oxford blue from head to toe. In 1897, a club kit was adopted which combined a sky blue jersey with white shorts and red socks. 1899 brought the event which introduced the colors of claret and sky blue to West Ham United Football Club uniform: nationally known sprinter Bill Dove was involved with coaching the West Ham club, and made a wager on a race between himself and four players from the Aston Villa football club. When he won the race, the Aston Villa players didn't have the money to cover the bet, so one of them stole some shirts from his club where he was in charge of the laundry; those shirts were claret and sky blue. After the team was reformed from the Thames Ironworks club in 1900 and renamed West Ham United Football Club, their first uniform under the new name had a red jersey with a single black hoop stripe, white shorts and black socks.

By 1903, however, the club kit was returned to the colours of claret and sky blue. From that season until the present day, all of the variants of West Ham United Football Club kit included those two colours in some kind of combination. Generally, the way that the colors have been divided on the jersey for West Ham United has been a claret coloured body and sky blue sleeves. During some periods there has also been a crest on the upper left breast of the jersey, and of course the neck style has changed several times along with numerous changes to the stripe patterns and colours of the socks. The shorts have remained white since 2003 for all versions of West Ham United Football Club kit. The most well remembered variation of the West Ham United club kit is the design from the 1960s which was worn by such famous players as Hurst, Peters and Moore - the decade during which West Ham United won the FA Cup for the first time and also won the final of the European Cup.

During the eighties many unusual variations of the jersey have been developed, but always using the same traditional colours. In 1983 when sponsor labels began to be displayed on the front of the jersey a horizontal sky blue stripe was added to hold the sponsor name. Between 1987 and 1989 the team had a penguin stripe design on the front of the shirt. The sponsors included Avco, BAC, Dagenham Motors, Dr. Martens, jobserve and XL. The current West Ham United Football Club home kit has the traditional colour scheme, and the away uniform has a white jersey with claret shorts and socks.


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