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31 May 2020

Swinton Lions have won the World Cup of Kits, a Twitter-based initiative launched by the Rugby Football League.

Swinton face Great Britain in the World Cup of Kits final

At Swinton Lions we’ve always been proud of our traditional kit and colours – the royal blue jersey with an instantly recognisable white “V” emblazoned upon it – and now it seems that we’ve been totally vindicated by the whole of the rugby league world!

As part of the RFL’s 125th Anniversary celebrations, a Twitter based initiative was recently launched to identify the most iconic kit in the history of the British game.

First of all nominations were invited, and upon the initiative of the Swinton Supporters Trust’s Ian Jackson, a groundswell of opinion was activated behind the Lions’ iconic jersey which marked the club’s epic back-to-back title triumphs of seasons 1962/63 and 1963/64.

After being nominated, which earned our colours direct entry at the last 16 stage, we have since embarked upon a series of epic Twitter one-against-one campaigns and associated vote-offs. In the last 16 we saw off the challenge of Wigan’s cherry and white hoops, then in the quarter-finals we negotiated a stern challenge from Fulham’s inaugural 1980 colours. Then in a tough battle, we edged out Hull FC’s famous black and white irregular hoops in the semis!

In our biggest challenge we faced Great Britain’s 1988 kit in the final, where thanks to our incredible supporters and followers, we won by 52% of the vote!

Swinton’s royal blue with white “V” first saw the light of day on 29th October 1960, when it was introduced for the Lancashire Cup Final against St Helens at Central Park. Previous to that date the Lions’ colours had been a fairly plain navy blue garb, but the new design was immediately taken to heart and will always be regarded as THE playing top for any Swinton fan under the age of about 80! 

Albert Cartwright and Bob Fleet wear the famous Swinton shirt

Another unique approach of the 1960 kit designer was to add the rampant lion badge. This adds the coup de grace to the shirt, but back in the day this was quite innovative, because apart from cup finals it was rare for any club to display a badge. More to the point, no words or names needed to be added, the rampant lion in itself was enough to declare “We are Swinton”! 

Have you joined the RFL’s fantastic membership scheme Our League? The app contains constantly updated and innovative content for all followers of the game and it is completely FREE to join. However, your membership directly benefits the Lions!

Upon joining don’t forget to select Swinton Lions as your favourite club, and make sure also that your friends and family have also got the app. Finally, if you’re a Super League supporter, then please consider adding us as your favourite Championship side!

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