The club’s exact playing colours are not known for certain. However it seems very likely that these would have been some combination of red, amber and black . These are the historical colours of the Bradford club, as exemplified by the committee member’s badge on our History page. The only known photograph of Bradford’s original association side is that shown on our Home page where the players are wearing white shirts with dark shorts and socks. However this could be an away kit.
The origin of the historical red, amber and back colours is not known with any certainty. However local sporting historian John Dewhirst puts forward some interesting theories in his seminal book “Room at the Top”, which traces the history of and rivalry between Bradford FC and Manningham FC in the 19th century. John believes that Bradford Cricket Club adopted these colours around 1844. He also believes that these were based on the uniform of the Bradford Volunteers, established in May 1794, which was described as “scarlet faced with buff, white breeches and leggings, black caps and ‘bob-tails’”.
The Bradford Volunteer force was disbanded in 1803. However its traditions were resurrected in 1843 by the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry, which kept order in the town before Bradford had a police force. The cricket club had ties with the 2nd WYYC and sought to assert its status and seniority by adopting its prestigious colours. Red, amber and black subsequently went on to become the de facto sporting colours of the town and were thus adopted by Bradford FC.
The football kits of the 19th century bore little resemblance to those of today. Fast dyes had yet to be discovered for a number of colours meaning that multicoloured shirts would often run when washed. Players wore their own socks and knickerbockers which had to cover the knee. Shirt numbers were not commonly worn until the 1930s.
The club adopted red, amber and black when association returned to Park Avenue in 1907. The club changed to green and white in 1911 and the two sets of colours have alternated ever since. The current club played in green and white since its re-incarnation in 1988, apart a brief return to red, amber and black for its 150th anniversary season 2013/14. It subsequently reverted to red, amber and black in 2019.