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It's hey for the tartan...

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Aberdeen FC may have decided to ditch their black and gold stripes in March 1939 in favour of their now familiar red and white, but black and gold remains a popular colour combination amongst SPFL clubs.

The famous black and gold stripes of Berwick Rangers are of course presently on show in the Lowland League but that still leaves four of the current SPFL clubs who have traditionally had black and gold registered colours: Alloa, Annan, Dumbarton and East Fife. Some fans would also consider Livingston to be part of the black and gold gang but officially Livi’s colours are amber and black, and have been since the formation of the club, as Ferranti Thistle in 1943. Livi’s erroneous inclusion is perhaps understandable as over the years some kit manufacturers’ chosen shade of gold has veered towards the amber of the Lions or in the other direction to the yellow of Albion Rovers.

Alloa Athletic, as befits a team nicknamed the Wasps, have been wearing home colours of black and gold hoops each season since 2013-14 and often before that too. It’s a distinctive and appropriate design preference by the Wee County club.

Annan Athletic arguably have a less defined image than their Clackmannanshire namesakes, partially due to the Wasps' eighty-seven year seniority as a Scottish League/SPFL club. It may also be because, although the Galabankies have mostly favoured black and gold stripes since their formation in 1942, they have opted for the less striking all-gold shirts since 2013.

Dumbarton, one of Scottish football’s earliest giants, have played in black and gold stripes, black and gold hoops, solid gold and mainly white. The present season’s strip, celebrating the Sons’ 150th anniversary, is white with black and gold bands. It’s based on Dumbarton’s 1971-72 kit, when the club finished as Division Two champions. It’s regarded as iconic down Dumbarton way – and quite rightly too. It would be Dumbarton’s permanent kit if I had any say in the matter.

Like Alloa Athletic, East Fife joined the Scottish League in 1921 and since then black and gold stripes have usually defined the Fifers’ shirt design. With The Wee Rangers no longer in the SPFL, and a return to that status for the Borderers looking more difficult by the season, the black and gold stripes are apparently there for East Fife to make their own.

Taking advantage of that opportunity would please many East Fife traditionalists but personally I would stick with the present tartan edition. It was unbelievably well received when it was launched, goes so well with the “Scotland” aspect of the club badge and gives the club a unique and very attractive image. "It's hey for the tartan" as the old song has it.

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