Black and gold are the go-to colours for our fine club, as seen in our previous article on the ’96-’98 home shirt, but every so often, a technical supplier adds in a supplementary third colour to add some extra zest to Berwick’s kits. A fresh design also allows fans the opportunity to get new replicas from the club shop without ending up with a wardrobe full of shirts that are nearly indistinguishable from one another
This may well have been a topic of discussion back in the summer of 2003, when then-suppliers Prostar were asked to design a new kit for the Dream Team. Heading into their fourth season with Berwick Rangers, the apparel company had already released two home tops in years prior and was thus looking to push the boat out for what was to be their final two years of contract at Shielfield. Knowing that ditching the stripes would not go over well with fans, Prostar instead opted for the addition of white as a prominent third colour on the sleeves. The flappy collar, typical of football fashion in the early 00’s, was also treated to a bit of white trim in what was otherwise a firmly traditional shirt. Interestingly, it was coupled with non-traditional yellow socks, which saw their hitherto final outing as the club has worn black socks at home without fail since.
Although Prostar has now all but left the kit market, having previously held contracts with Northampton Town, Wycombe Wanderers, and the now-defunct Chester City to name a few of their customers, their ’03-’05 effort remains notable for a couple of reasons, chief among which was the decent 2003/2004 league campaign Berwick Rangers enjoyed in the old Second Division. With a squad featuring the likes of David Murie, Gary McCutcheon, and Gordon Forrest, manager Paul Smith steered the club to a fifth-place finish with 48 points on the board.
On a more positive note, the Prostar shirt coincided with the lucrative sponsor agreement between the club and Haggerston Castle, lasting for two full seasons. This, coupled with the holiday park’s second stint as chest sponsor in 2007/2008, has made it one of the more memorable partnerships between Berwick Rangers and a corporate party. Sean Murphy, who was kind enough to pose in this Prostar shirt for us, seems plenty giddy about combining his playing career with a bit of part-time modelling, although it may well be his memories of Haggerston Castle that elicit the stalwart midfielder’s wide grin!
Curious about other shirts from Berwick Rangers’ long history? Check back in a few weeks as Black & Old continues to cast a look at the old kit hamper at Shielfield!