We spend a lot of time talking about football shirts at Football Shirt Collective (naturally), but one area intrinsically linked to kits which we too often gloss over is the captain’s armband.
Though armbands are sometimes standardised for competitions (think the luminous green bands you see in the Champions League), clubs are often allowed to express their own creative freedom for this small but important part of their captain’s matchday getup.
Typical designs include a club crest surrounded by the colours of the team, like Barcelona whose captain’s armbands are usually composed of the Catalan flag with the club crest at the centre, but at the other end of the La Liga table SD Huesca have been employing a far more diverse strategy.
Huesca have been designing custom captain’s armbands for various games this season, but instead of playing on variations of club specific themes, the team have been paying tribute to the team’s they’ve faced.
.@SDHuesca have been creating custom captain's armbands for each away game and the stories behind them are as good as the designs.👏🏽👏🏽
Diehard fans may tremble at the idea of their team showing more respect than you’d expect to see for a game, but Huesca have used the opportunity to showcase a number of interesting stories the kind of which we like new shirts to tell.
Some designs, like the one for Villarreal, are themed around the city Huesca were visiting. The stunning tile pattern is surely a look worthy of a Villarreal shirt in future…
For their home matches Huesca normally use their normal captain armband but for the home match against Mirandés (the first after the break), they had a special one. Highlighting and paying tribute to the heroes in this covid-19 crisis pic.twitter.com/TK6Txe8zYZ
Figures from the history of a city of club have also been represented. See the armband for Sevilla, which acted as a tribute to leading abstract painter Manuel Salinas, or the Real Madrid design which nodded to none other than “The Blonde Arrow” himself, Alfredo Di Stefano.
Alfredo Di Stefano was nicknamed la saeta rubia "The blond bolt" for his speed and the color of his hair. Winning five European Cups and two Ballon d'Or's he's one of the greatest players of all time.
Another recent effort for a game against Celta Vigo saw Huesca commemorating International Women’s Day with an armband celebrating various Aragonese who were leaders in their respective areas, with elements that characterised their fields included in the design.
For their home match against Celta de Vigo on the 7th March, Huesca played with an armband that paid tribute to pioneering Aragonés women and leaders in commemoration of the international women's day.
The armbands are quite simply an exhibition of creative design thinking, and what’s more you can even buy the various designs directly from SD Huesca’s shop!
Until proven otherwise, we’re giving Huesca the honour of the best captain’s armbands in football. So often a good story elevates any football shirt, and many manufacturers would do well to adopt the same thinking as Huesca have for their captain's armbands when it comes to kits.
Speaking of unique designs, why not check out some of our Modern Classic football shirts? Featuring Venezia, Minneapolis and more, browse the full collection here.