Walthamstow FC to play in William Morris-inspired kit

Models pose in a Walthamstow pie and mash shop wearing home (left) and away shirtsJake Green

An east London football club will spend next season wearing kits inspired by Victorian designer William Morris.

Morris was born in Walthamstow in 1843 and became famous for his floral works, which can still be found on everything from wallpapers to tea towels.

Walthamstow FC will wear shirts that feature Morris & Co’s Yare pattern.

Mark Clack, the kit’s designer, said: “Everyone around here understands the strong relationship between Morris and the local area.”

A model wears the home shirt outside Walthamstow FC

Jake Green

Mr Clack, along with his art collective Wood Street Walls, normally designs murals and street art, and the three-year kit-design project was his first venture into fashion design.

He became involved with the team after he painted the club’s grandstand a few years ago and helped find them a new kit supplier.

“I came up with the idea for the design because I wanted to find a creative way to generate funds for the team, to use the revenue from shirt sales to create a woman’s team,” Mr Clack explained.

“It was also a way to share his iconic patterns outside of their normal mediums.”

A model poses with the away shirt in the William Morris Museum

Jake Green

The designer selected the pattern Yare from the William Morris Museum’s archives for both the home and away kits, which was created by John Henry Dearle some time after 1892.

It was block-printed on cotton at Merton Abbey and features scrolling green leaves with flowers in shades of pale blue, red and yellow on a dark blue background.

John Henry Dearle, who was born in 1859, was trained by Morris and designed many of the later wallpapers and textiles released by Morris & Co.

“I’m delighted about the way it’s turned out and the impact its having, the sales are really positive too,” Mr Clack added.

models in the shirt on a football pitch

Jake Green

Andy Perkins, chairman of Walthamstow FC said: “William Morris believed that people should be able to live in harmony with the world around them; today we are unveiling the result of three years collaboration between art, sport and manufacturing.

“I’m sure Morris would have approved and, if he was alive today, would be happy to see his designs being worn by Walthamstow FC – a club which has provided sport in the borough for 155 years.”

Hadrian Garrard, director of William Morris Gallery said: “William Morris Gallery is part of a very special community here in north-east London and this is a great way for us to bring the work of Morris out of the gallery and into the streets and football pitches for next season.”

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