Would you believe that the reason Arsenal still wear red and white kits today was originally because of lack of funds?

Back in 1886, Arsenal wasn’t a professional football club and was actually known as Dial Square FC, which is where we were based. This meant that not only did we not yet have a proper strip, we also didn’t have a great deal of money.

When three Nottingham Forest players (Fred Beardsley, Bill Parr and Charlie Bates) signed for club, Dial Square FC decided to use their old kits instead, which were dark red with white socks and long sleeves.

This continued to be Arsenal’s kit when they began playing at Highbury in 1913/14.

Although another theory is that Dial Square FC wrote to Nottingham Forest and asked for help with them kitting us out.

via Arsenal
via Arsenal

However, it changed in 1925 with the arrival of Herbert Chapman.

As the Arsenal website points out, there are a couple of theories on how Chapman came up with the red and white strip we see our players wearing today.

Basically the gist is that he saw someone (either a fan or famous cartoonist Tom Webster) wearing a sleeveless red sweater over a white shirt. This is what inspired the now famous red and white strip.

In the 1960s, the top was adapted into a jersey, rather than long sleeved shirt. Around the same time the canon graphic replaced the club badge.