In the early, pre-VFA days of the latter part of the 19th century, the Carlton players took to the field in all manner of dress, beginning with cricket whites and cap to distinguish themselves from their inner-city adversaries. These were originally orange, then orange and blue, and finally (in 1871) dark navy.
Two years later, the players trotted out in blue jackets, knickerbockers and grey socks (later blue and white hooped) – and when they then adopted the blue cap and uniform they also inherited the “Blues” nickname.
Not until 1909 did luminaries of Carlton’s yesteryear – the likes of Fred “Pompey” Elliott, “Champagne” Charlie Hammond and Norman “Hackenschmidt” Clark – first take to wearing the all-navy top and white CFC monogram (and it’s worth noting that the smaller “ccs” for “Cricket Club” also appeared briefly through 1909/10).
While there is no formal acknowledgment in the club’s 1927 annual report, it’s obvious the Carlton monogram was subject to extensive change in this period, as a ’27 team photograph clearly reveals that the monogram design was bolder than ever before.
For the next 70 years through to 1997, the bold white monogram on a mass of dark navy held sway, with everyone from Horrie Clover to Craig Bradley sporting that unmistakable, irresistible true Blue brand.
In that time, no less than 11 Grand Finals were run and won - amongst them “The Bloodbath” of ’45, “The Droughtbreaker” of ’68, “The Comeback” of ’70 and “The Back-to-Backs” of 1981 and ’82.
In 1998 Carlton and Nike entered into a significant apparel sponsorship arrangement, with new technical elements introduced to the players’ match day wear.
Crucially, the CFC monogram on the front of the guernsey remained in keeping with that displayed in the club’s official logo, thus keeping the old Dark Navy Blue tradition intact...