Our previous post told the story of France’s Lost Champions, the country’s seven former national title winners sadly no longer in existence. Today we have a 21st century reimagining of how their strips might look were those clubs to be resurrected, or simply hadn’t disappeared in the first place.
Each has been given a contemporary makeover and a sponsor we think fits contextually with the club’s history or geography. It’s also fitting that the strips here could only be manufactured by that classic retro French brand, Le Coq Sportif.
Starting with Club Français (1896 champions), we felt their origins as a Parisian student club merited an educational sponsor – thus Université Paris-Sud which is the foremost learning establishment for sports science in the capital.
Fellow Parisians Cercle Athlétique de Paris (1927 champions) take on more generic local sponsors in ‘Aeroports de Paris’ and in a similar vein ‘the Roosters’ of Gallia Club Paris (1905 champions) sport the Quick logo. Quick is a restaurant group with headquarters close to the area in which Gallia used to play before the war.
Our two former champions clubs from the city of Roubaix – Racing Club Roubaix (1902, 03, 04, 06 and 08 champions) and CO Roubaix-Tourcoing (1947 champions) – share DNA and so share sponsors here too. The sponsor in question is La Redoute, a multi-line mail order retailer headquartered in the city.
Stade Helvétique Marseille (1909, 1911 and 1913 champions) was a club formed by the Swiss community in the city, origins that have influenced the kit design and the choice of Swiss multinational Nestlé as sponsors. Finally the Saint Raphaël club (1912 champions) from the Cote d’Azur town of the same name carries the high-speed TGV rail brand, referencing its main line station which is a vital tourism revenue generator for the area.
As always with our Lost Champions Reimagined series, the illustrations are provided by Chris Oakley and you can see more of his fine work at the Kitbliss site. Click any of the designs below to enlarge.