By Lars Norlin
Chapters: Updated: Extra:
The Amateur Days - Intro 14 Nov 2022 62,000 at the Stadium 1912
QPR Grounds 1882 -1917 9 Nov 2022 QPR-Land Map
QPR Shirts 1885 - 1903 9 Nov 2022 QPR-Land Historic Football Clubs
Christ Church Rangers FC 9 Nov 2022 Should Have Been London Football Map
St Judes Institute Dec 2022 QPR Extended Badges
Complicated Merger Issue Jan 2023  
QPR Matches 1888-98 14 Nov 2022 Contact
QPR Players 1888-98 Future Blogg - Discussion: Future
West London FC / Outshoots Future MAIL
QPR Shirts 1885 - 1903
I have used drawn football jerseys from Historic football Kits I have also supplemented jerseys, by my own drawn in the same style.

St Judes Institute and QPR ca 1885 - ca 1888: The Doubble Blues

Both is Used At Same Time

The first information about jerseys can be found in Club Secretary Woods history from 1905:
…and they took the name of St Judes Institute Football Club…The colors adopted were Oxford and Cambridge blue halves…With the change of quarters a change was made in the title of the club to Queens Park Rangers though the colours were still the two university blues. In the Middle of the second season at Brondesbury (1888-89)…

Wood's statement about a change of shirt during the name change is not entirely certain. It's not real quarters but more like a pocket on the shirt/ square is sewn on. It actually becomes something in between, thirdes? In the team photo on the right, you can see that both versions of the shirt are used at the same time. Half the team wears halves while the other team wears thirdes. For other teams the story has been quarters but stuck in pictures there have been halves. Source: A Brief History of Football Kit Design in England and Scotland. Dave Moor (May 2009).


The team picture was first published in 1969 in Dennis Signy's "History of QPR".

The caption states that the jerseys are from 1885, while Wood's history can be interpreted as 1888, "second season at". Because they had white trousers and not shorts, it's certanly 1880s. It could be the breeches given from a stable in Maida Vale. An information that first appears in Hayter's history in 1948.

 

ca 1889 - ca 1891: The Doubble Blues with Blue Shorts


Both is Used At Same Time
The strange thing was that three neighboring teams that often met had the same colors, dark blue and light blue halves namely: QPR (1885-1892), Paddington (1890s) and Fulham (1879-1889). Paddington might have played in all blue. Fulham changed to blue-white (1889), red (1899) and finally white and black as late as 1903. QPR played in white and black before in 1899-1900.See below.


Half of the the team in the picture have dark blue shorts. The two man in the back seemed to have the newest outfit with distinct halves and dark blue shorts. This picture have appeared in the anniversary issue of the Kilburn Times in the 1960s. I have not been able to verify this. It would be good to get a higher quality image.

There is another photo of a team where all the player had dark shorts. But I can’t be sure it’s Rangers.

Sometime in in the beginning of 1890s new football shorts in matching blue color are bought.

This picture is later, probably from 1892 just before the new green and white colours arrives. The jerseys look worn and there are 6 different kits:
2 Solid colored light shirts
3 Halves, pale blue on the left
2 Halves, dark blue on the left, light sleeves
1 Half, dark blue on the left, sleeves are half
1 Third's, dark blue on the left
1 Third's, dark blue on the right

There is a reported a match when Queens Park Rangers played against NN (Lost the clip). The referee ordered the team to wear fewer colors for the second half. They had been playing in blue, green and red shirts in the first half.

1892-1897: Green and Whites Stripes
There was a change of colors to green and white 1892. In Handbook 1899 we learn:
On joining the West London league in 1892. First use of the green and white stripes against Paddington.
In club secretary Woode's history from 1805 it says:
While at the Gun Club the colors were changed to green and white stripes at the time, the colors of Celtic, Glasgow.
The signature The Mate in Athletic News, October 8 1906, means that it is the club’s founder John McDonald who initiated the color change:
It was on McDonald's initiative that the club colors were changed to green and white...Green and white were then the colors of Glasgow Celtic, who had a strong champion in McDonald.
The first time green and white is mentioned in a contemporary newspaper West London Observer)is 30 January 1892. The team may have had the shirts before? It's 6 months before the West London League and the match against Paddington so the Handbook 1899s statement is not correct. And Wood's statement is also completely wrong. Gun Club was first used 1893. The signature the Mate cannot be right either. McDonald left Glasgow about 1878-1880, aged 10-12. Celtic was formed in 1887. More on that in a later article. The reason for the color change could be a clash with local rivals Paddington.

    Celtic 1891-92
Hoops?
It has also been assumed over the years that the QPR jerseys would have been hoops. This is also how Historical Football Kit has reported the jerseys. All sources is mentioned stripes not hoops. The hoops could actually derives from Woods as he writes:
at the time the colors of Celtic, Glasgow.
At the time 1891-92, Glasgow Celtic played in green and white vertical stripes. As picture to the left shows.
1897-1898: White Shirts
The black and white team image shows white jerseys and gray shorts and socks. As it appears from the handbooks of the time the club's colors were green and white, the shorts and socks should be green. Colored socks were uncommon in 1890s football teams.
1898-1899: Green and Whites Stripes and White Shirts Black Shorts


Both used as First Strip





The upper picture is from the away match against Richmond Association on 24 September 1898 where Rangers' Sammy Brocks was sent off, followed by £4 fine and 14 day home ground ban for the club. The decision to join a professional club was made on December 28, 1898.

Already a week or so into the new year, the players posed for photographs together with the newly appointed directors. It's the warmly dressed gentlemen on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Kensal Rise, probably the first home game as a professional club 7/1 1899 against Crouch End Vampires. The Rangers appear here in white jerseys and black shorts with a green border at the edge of the shorts. There are probably two kits that are both used as first jerseys this season.
1899-1900: First Professional team


For the first real season as a professional club Rangers introduced white shorts to gren and white stripes.

The standing man to the right was QPR first Chairman for the professionell club Leo Haws.

.

 

1900-1901

Next season the Rangers appeared almost completely in white. All-white was used next time in the League Cup win in 1967. The All whites have also been used in 25 May 2003 in the play off Final against Cardiff City lost 1–0 (a.e.t.).

The White shorts enter the club previous season and have been with QPR ever since with the exception of the stripeless period in the 1950s. The white breeches from 1885 don't count either. White socks became current from the season 1960-1961 two seasons before playing at White City Ground.

1901-1902: Latimer Road and 1902-1903 Kensal Rise
The Landlord raised the rent significantly for Kensal Rise so Rangers had to look for another ground. Club Director T.R. Eagle found a place on the corner of Latmier Road and St Quintin Aveny in Notting Hill. The stay only lasted a year due to protests from residents in the neighborhood who did not want a professional football club nearby and Rangers were soon back at Kensal Rise. They played in the same jerseys both seasons.
(1901-1902: Latimer Road Green and Black?)
There is a strange play-up card where Queens Park Rangers are presented in Green/Black. These kinds of cards are usually correct for the most. Sometimes shows a bit strange colors but it could be some unknown colors in the history of the clubs.

There is however a strange picture from a match between QPR - Tottenham at Latimer Road. The shirts appear to be black-green, just like on the pop-up cards. It could also be the printing technique that did not render the light correctly. It might have been high contrasts. The white has become gray and the green black. The strange thing is that the shorts are still correct white.
1903-1905: Hoops at Kensal Rise and Park Royal

Before the season, the players are presented.The old players have strips and the newly added hoops

At Kensal Rise 1903 the hoops makes it debute, continuing with the move to the Park Royal Ground and which have since then become Rangers' signature.

Match picture from 1904-05. It's the same kit.