1889 Heritage shirt

Friday, 29 March 2024 | News, In Focus, Heritage

It was 1889. Brentford Rowing club had decided to form a new winter sport club for their members. They also decided that the kit colours would be claret and blue. Bees United has realised that shirt for you to wear in 2024 and it’s in the Superstore, now!  
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When we were planning our commemoration event to unveil a plaque celebrating BFC’s foundation in 1889, we knew that our founding fathers, Brentford Rowing club, agreed in October 1889, to form a new cub.

We also knew they also decided that that the club colours should be claret and blue.

A third colour, Salmon, was recorded but there’s no evidence it was ever used.


It seemed silly not to see if there was a way we could add a different original heritage shirt to the huge collection that Brendan Nevin put on display from the past, and one you could buy too!


And what a collection it was that Brendan showed everyone.

We saw a great surviving memory of Stan Bowles with his match worn No. 11 shirt on display and on the left there was the first sample of the heritage design.


An old shirt design

Old photographs show us how the first Club crest echoed the history of Brentford Rowing Club, so we had a new club, new colours and by a narrow margin (it’s Brentford innit!) the round ball was chosen to be used – but only just!

Here is the crest on the heritage shirt.

It has the blue zigzag line for the river on the claret shirt from the Rowing Club colours.




Little did the Rowing Club committee know that their idea of the new club would catch on and that their new sport would be played just up the road from the river at Kew bridge, at GTech.

The first official Bees match, a friendly, versus Kew FC was played on 23 November 1889. This took place on land to the east of Clifden House, on the corner of Windmill Road and Clifden Road.

The result was a 1-1 “hammering” by the Bees.


Ever patient, as we know, the first official tournament victory, took a while longer, which was in the 1893/1894 season, when we won the Middlesex Junior Cup. Victory on April 7th 1894.

And here you can see the first shirt worn by the Bees on display all those years ago.

Bees United wanted to see if a heritage shirt – our very first kit – could be created to reflect that beginning in a way that all fans could enjoy – the team at the Superstore agreed and so, as part of the Oxford and Cambridge Collection, here is that shirt.

Another design is on the way to remember when we first wore stripes – claret and blue stripes!






In the shop now!


Coming soon