Isthmian League

STRIP! Hawks Shirt Features In Major National Exhibition


The ‘Rainbow Rover’s LGBTQ+ shirt – used at this summer’s ground-breaking Football United game at Whitehawk FC’s TerraPura Ground, features in one of the UK’s largest ever curated exhibitions of football jerseys 

Whitehawk’s ‘Football United’ shirt, designed by International Turner Prize Nominee and curator of the 2018 Brighton Festival David Shrigley, will feature in the National Football Museum’s new exhibition, STRIP! How Football Got Shirty, opening in Manchester on Friday 22 November. 

The shirt was worn during a mixed-gender charity game between Rainbow Rovers – a team of LGBTQ+ sportspeople, activists and celebrities – and Premier League All-Stars in August 2019. The shirt itself features a map of the Whitehawk region, as well as featuring the symbol of LGBTQ+ Pride. 

A variation of the shirt is currently The Hawk’s away strip.

The museum’s latest exhibition unpicks the global fascination with football shirts and how they have influenced football culture, design, fashion and technology. 

With well over 200 shirts on display, STRIP! is one of the largest curated exhibitions of football shirts ever assembled in this country. 

It will examine how football shirts have developed from mere kit to genuine objects of desire, looking at the design of the football shirt, from the functional to the aesthetic, influential designers and manufacturers and the rise of the football hipster, as well as detailing iconic shirts and shirt disasters. 

Shirts from the museum’s own collection will be on display, alongside loans from Classic Football Shirts, kit manufacturers including Adidas, Admiral, Hummel and Umbro, specialist collectors and enthusiasts and football clubs. It will also feature interviews with designers including Jürgen Rank, Senior Design Director at Adidas (who is overseeing the design of their Euro 2020 range) and Bert Patrick, formerly of Admiral and credited in 1974 with pioneering the replica shirt industry with the first commercially available England shirt. 

Shirts created as high fashion items will also feature including those by cult label Fokohaela, designers Christopher Raeburn and Yohji Yamamoto and Dutch streetwear brand Patta. 

Illustrator Mark Johnson will be designing shirt mash-up collage terrace banners to complement the exhibition and John Devlin, designer and author of the True Colours book series, is acting as a consultant. 

Jon Sutton, National Football Museum’s lead curator for the exhibition, said: “Football shirt culture has become a huge phenomenon and has devotees across the world. While fans will still buy a shirt to show support for their own team, there is a huge interest in international sides, special editions and a nostalgia for classic designs of the past. Fans will obsess over the details of colour combinations, placement of logos and even the sponsors of the shirt. While many of the shirts on display will be remembered with affection there will also be a few disasters in there too!” 

“We’re sure this exhibition will appeal to anyone with an interest in design, fashion and technology.” 

To coincide with the launch of the exhibition the museum has collaborated with Manchester-born artist and illustrator Stanley Chow on a newly commissioned National Football Museum shirt, manufactured by Nottingham based brand PlayerLayer. The shirt made from 50% bamboo charcoal, will be worn by staff, with a limited number available for sale at the museum shop. 

Iconic shirts on display will include England’s home Umbro shirt as worn by the Three Lions at Italia ’90, Brazil’s classic 1970 World Cup shirt as worn by Pele and West Germany’s 1988-1990 designed by legendary Adidas designer Ina Franzmann. Kit manufacturers involved with the exhibition include Adidas, Admiral, Hummel, PlayerLayer and Umbro.

Sophie Cook, Player Manager of Rainbow Rovers with David Shrigley, at the launch of Football United at Whitehawk FC in July.

Hawk’s Head of Commercial Kevin Miller said;

“To have one of our shirts placed within some of the most iconic football shirts in the history of the game is a huge honour. A massive thank you must go to David (Shrigley) for designing the shirt, and we look forward to welcoming Rainbow Rovers back for Football United 2, next July. I know that the (Whitehawk) lads love the new away kit, and we’re proud to one of the very few clubs in the country to lead the campaign for LGBTQ+ inclusion.”

Hawk’s 2019/20 away kit

To purchase these kits and others within the 2019/20 Whitehawk Football Club range visit:


National Football Museum: 

The National Football Museum is England’s only national museum for football. It is a registered charity and was established and its collection acquired thanks to £9.3m investment by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Its vision is to become a leading national museum by 2022, exploring why football is the game of our lives. The museum’s social purpose is to provide equal opportunity for all to enjoy football culture. 

In January 2019, the museum became a charging attraction. All visitors except for those living within the Manchester City Council boundary now pay an admission fee. School groups within the Manchester City Council boundary are also admitted free of charge. 

Opening Times:
Seven days a week 10am – 5pm Last admissions 4.30pm. 

Open every day excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. 

The venue is fully accessible for wheelchair access. Cathedral Gardens, Manchester M4 3BG 


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