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