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The evolution of the football jumper - North Melbourne Football Club 1874 - 2015

  • 1874 - 1885

    1874 - 1885
    This is the original Guernsey worn when North Melbourne got included into the VFA. It was worn from the year 1874 to the year 1885. The jumper has blue and white horizontal stripes (hoops) and has long sleeves. Other prominent characteristics include it having a high neck collar, it being made of cotton wool and it also displays no numbers.
  • Period: to

    Evolution of the Football Jumper - North Melbourne Football Club

    This timeline explores the evolution of the Australian Rules Football jumper, using one of Australias oldest and most respected football clubs, North Melbourne to highlight changes to these jumpers that have taken place over the last 140 years.
  • 1886 - 1907

    1886 - 1907
    In the year 1886, at the VFA’s request the hoops were changed to vertical strips. This allowed North Melbourne to be distinguished from Footscray and Geelong football clubs who also featured in the VFA and had similar jumpers. This jumper like the jumper above is made of cotton wool and also displayed no numbers, it differed however in that there were no long sleeves on these jumpers and there is white lace running down the middle of the front of the Guernsey a key characteristic of the jumper.
  • 1908

    The year 1908 was one that saw North Melbourne merge with West Melbourne in an attempt to join the VFL. This resulted in a jumper significantly different to that of the previous seasons. The new jumper as seen consists of white and blue halves with a red sash. Which as stated in ‘The North Story’ is a result of a combination of the blue and white of the old North Melbourne Football Club, and the red and white of the recently disbanded West Melbourne Football Club.
  • 1909

    1909 saw a slight change in the Guernsey with the red sash being dropped from the jumper. The high collar and no Guernsey numbers still remained however the jumper still consisted of blue and white halves.
  • 1910 - 1921

    1910 - 1921
    This time period was a period in which the North Melbourne Guernsey was quite unsettled, only two jumpers were used over a 12 year period however these two jumpers were switched between quite a numbers of times in what seems to be a period of unsettlement for the club .
  • 1910, 1912, 1914 & 1915

    1910, 1912, 1914 & 1915
    These years saw North Melbourne wear a navy blue jumper, with a white NM on the front of the jumper. The jumper had a high-neck collar once again and still no numbers on the back
  • 1911, 1913, 1918-1921

    1911, 1913, 1918-1921
    These years saw the club return to the vertical stripes. These stipes were a lot wider than they had been previously, with only 4 stipes on both the back and the front of the jumper, making it look quite odd. This jumper also comprised of a high neck collar and did not have a number.
  • 1922 - 1924

    1922 - 1924
    In the year 1921 North temporarily disbanded and formed an amalgamation with Essendon. When this fell over it merged with Essendon A, the VFA team.
    This jumper, is predominantly navy blue and contains a white logo reading NMFC and also a white number. The first time in North Melbourne’s history that numbers have been included on the back of jumpers, a big step in the clubs history. Also for the first time in the clubs history the collar in now a button up collar, something that is more practical
  • 1925 - 1932

    1925 - 1932
    In the year 1925, North Melbourne became part of the VFL with the navy and white combination sometimes worn in the VFA, being changed to the royal blue and white which it still remains today. The jumper worn from 1925 – 1932 is predominantly royal blue containing a white V on the front of the jumper whilst also comprising of white number on the back. Like the previous jumper, this Guernsey also contains a button up collar increasing its practicability
  • 1933 - 1958

    1933 - 1958
    From the year 1933, stipes were adopted and made up the North Melbourne Football Club jumper. These also contained numbers and the number panel actually changed size with numbers being smaller and more compact than in than previous years. These jumpers also contained the button up collar. The jumper remained this way until 1958.
  • 1959 - 1972

    After 25 years of jumpers staying the same they finally changed, with pin stripes being added next to each stripe on the jumper prior to the 1959 season. These jumpers still contained the royal blue button up collar and remained this way until the conclusion of the 1972 season.
  • 1973 – 1994

    1973 – 1994
    In the three year period from 1973 – 1975 there were a number of minor changes to the North Melbourne football jumper. In 1973 there was a white number panel added to the knit of the jumper (see above left). In 1974 the collar was modified, with there being no buttons and a shortened collar (see above right). Meanwhile in 1975 the collar was eradicated and an open collar was introduced, this coupled with the white number panel and also the loss of the pinstripes made for quite a different jumper
  • 1995

    The 1995 season was the first season in which jumpers were printed. Which was a big step in jumper construction. These jumpers still had an open collar however the rear number panel was significantly enlarged taking up nearly half of the back of the jumper and there were also stripes on the side of the jumper as well as on the front and the back.
  • 1996

    The year 1996 saw the jumpers change quite significantly from the season prior, with the side-stripes being dropped as well as the other stripes being thinner on these printed jumpers.
    Fast forward nearly twenty years and there are only minor changes that have taken place meaning that the 1996 and the 2015 jumpers look very similar.
  • 1996 - 2015 (1)

    1996 - 2015 (1)
    • In 1997 the number font was changed from the 1996 jumper, whilst the number font changed once more in 1998 and stayed that way until 2004 when it was changed back to the traditional and current font
    • In 1998 there was white inserted under the cuffs of the arms, though this was changed back to blue in 2001
    • In 2002 the neck bar was changed to white however this was changed back to blue by the start of the 2004 season and was then removed at the start of the 2006 season.
  • 1996 - 2015 (2)

    • In 2005 the jumper stripes were made slightly thinner, whilst in 2009 these stipes were made slightly thinner once again
    • In 2009 the club logo was added to the right stripe of the jumper.
    • In 2010, a silver outline was added to the numbers
    • In 2012 the the middle stripe was cut off at the top
    • In 2013 then, ‘NMFC’ was added above the numbers
  • 2015

    So whilst there have been a range of minor changes and reversals, the North Melbourne football club jumper in the last 19 years has not changed a huge amount and from a distance it would be tough to point out the difference. The 2015 jumper does look slightly more polished than the 1996 jumper as a result of these changes and it is good to see that tradition is still alive in modern day AFL football.