SOUTH AUSTRALIAN STATE UNIFORMS (1979-1999)
Was it State of Origin fever or Saturday Night Fever that inspired the South Australians to unleash this new uniform on an unsuspecting football public in 1979?
The new look was first unveiled on May 21st, 1979 at Football Park for South Australia's clash against Victoria and judging by the match review in the 1979-80 VFL Yearbook, the Victorians were underwhelmed by their arch-rival's new look: "[The South Australians'] performance was equally as unimpressive as their newly-designed guernseys - not nearly as prominent as the red, gold and navy blue of past years."
The shorts on this uniform featured a gold stripe down the front edge and a red stripe along the rear edge (see image at right). The 1979 version of the uniform featured the new SANFL logo first worn in 1977. In 1980 this was replaced by the classic SANFL logo that remains in use today.
By 1986 South Australia's garish disco design was looking dated and a replacement was required. For their new look the South Australians delved into their past, creating a uniform inspired by the designs worn from 1936 to 1978.
The differences were royal blue instead of the traditional navy blue, red socks instead of red with navy blue tops, and modified vees that had a rounded base and finished higher on the jumper than before.
The year 1986 was also the 150th anniversary of the formation of South Australia as a Colony/State. To mark the occasion the South Australian team wore a one-off patch featuring the official SA 150 logo.
This is the classic State of Origin design that most modern football fans associate with South Australia and interstate football.
In 1986 Victoria (Carlton Draught) became the first of the big three States to wear a sponsor patch on their interstate jumper. Western Australia (SGIO) followed suit in 1988 and in 1990 the SANFL finally broke with tradition when the West End patch appeared for the first time.
West End were the first, and to date, only company to sponsor the South Australian team. The longevity of this deal is only surpassed in Australian football by Geelong's long-running jumper sponsorship deal with Ford which has remained in place since 1977.
In 1993 West End launched a new brand of beer named "Eagle Super". To help promote their new product the West End patch was replaced by the Eagle Super logo on the front of the jumper.
A return to the standard West End sponsor patch previously worn 1990-92.
An AFL State of Origin patch was added to the jumper front for the match against Victoria, pushing the SANFL logo higher than usual.
The first straight vees since the 1947-55 State jumper and the State of Origin patch was worn at the base of the vees for the first time (allowing the SANFL logo to return to it's normal position.
The jumper worn by the SANFL representative team against the TFL had no State of Origin patch and was otherwise identical to the State jumper.
The vees extended much further down the jumper than in previous seasons.
The jumper worn by the SANFL representative team against the WAFL had no State of Origin patch and was otherwise identical to the State jumper.
The State of Origin patch moved lower on the jumper so that the base of the gold V was again visible.
NOTE - the jumper worn by the SANFL representative team against the ACTAFL had no State of Origin patch and had an apparel sponsor logo (Canterbury) in the centre of the blue V, underneath the West End and SANFL patches. The Canterbury logo was the same as the one which appeared on the 1998 and 1999 State jumpers (see below).
The West End patch was noticeably smaller on this jumper. The vees returned to the 1995 length and the Canterbury logo (first seen on the 1995-97 SANFL representative jumpers) made its way onto the State jumper as well.
For the match against Western Australia an AFL State of Origin patch was added to the base of the vees.
Not too many changes for the final State of Origin match. The Canterbury apparel sponsor logo moved from above the vees to within the blue vee.
For the match against Victoria an AFL State of Origin patch was added to the base of the vees.