In the past few years since online shopping and social media have created the ability for everyone to be connected to everything, a new type of market has emerged in the football kit industry. This market is one of the wacky, the obscene and the unique. Many clubs have tried to take advantage of this new and very profitable industry. This can range from clubs crudely printed prawns on a jersey to psychedelic goalkeeper jerseys or jerseys with famous ideological leaders printed onto them. However, after years of the absurd and the unique being thrown around the web, one club has managed to truly build itself as an established kit seller and a staple in most kit enthusiasts’ minds. The club who was blowing up on the pages of Talk Sport, Match of the Day, and Bleacher Report for its iconic and clean design: Loch Ness FC.
Loch Ness FC, which resides in Scotland’s iconic highlands, was founded in 1999 and only made its venture out of amateur football one year ago when they made it to the 6th tier of Scottish Football. To prepare for the new season in the North Caledonian Football League Two, the club wanted to design a kit for the club to wear on its debut season. One of the players for the club decided to create a template for the kit. It is safe to say, this was a decision that would change the image as well as the history of a football club. A kit was presented to the club which showed off the iconic mythological creature of the region, the Loch Ness Monster. Whereas many clubs may have just crudely thrown the monster onto the jersey, Loch Ness FC intertwined the mythological creature beautifully in gold on all three of the jerseys used by the team. It was a jersey that no doubt their 500 average fans would enjoy and hopefully somewhere around 30% would want to purchase the jersey to keep the non-league team going for another season as well as commemorate a historic season for the young club.
The jerseys that were presented were a black kit with gold pinstripes running horizontally with the iconic Loch Ness Monster silhouette “swimming” along the pinstripes, a white away kit with a diagonal gradient again with a single, large Loch Ness silhouette, and a third/goalie kit that was as blue as the beautiful lakes with a silhouette at the bottom. The three kits are then finished with the badge, which is a true crest, not simply printed on like many lower level clubs which, for me personally, is a huge plus. The Loch Ness kit found its way slowly to bigger and bigger social media outlets as all football fans agreed that the kit did justice to the historic and mythical region. The design simply came off well and fashionable while simultaneously being iconic. Collectors began to flock to the club’s website to order the overnight success story of a kit and a club. The numbers of sales for the kits have yet to be disclosed, however the kit is currently still listed as “Pre-Order” for whenever the club can fill out its plethora of orders that have already been received.
The Loch Ness FC kit is to me everything that is great about a “good addition to the collection”. The design in itself is simply beautiful, and The Loch Ness Monster is quite a standout in public. It embodies the myth that has surrounded the region for so long and has interested every schoolkid at one time or another. Loch Ness FC is also a small and unknown club who is the perfect kind to follow once you buy the kit and keep track of, as that is always a great part of buying an unknown team’s kit. Plus, you know you are truly putting your £44.99 towards a club for the people of a small, non-league to help support the players, the fans, and the community which it represents instead of a brand which is seeing millions come in from TV money. It really does everything right in terms of a good football kit, and I cannot wait to see what they follow it up with for next year. This beautiful jersey was absolutely worth the two-month backorder and finally pulling it out of the bag and putting it on after all the built-up anticipation. Now the goal is to not give in and also buy the home and third kits.
Author: Riley Moore