St Helen’s ArchivePreserving the past for the future


Blazers as a 'uniform' of a sporting institution were well established prior to the advent of Swansea Cricket Club (1829 & 1840) and Football Club (1872). Just as a military unit had its uniform, so did sporting institutions from polo clubs to athletic, rowing or swimming clus. The club badge obviously was prominent. Early Swansea Cricket Club blazers are hard to find but the striped version preserved in this collection is likely to have endured from the very earliest days. Likewise, the (rugby) fooball model, possibly worn by Evan Richards in the 1886 collage (see: PH095), though non-playing members at this time wore regular suit jackets without emblems in team photos.

The first visual evidence of blazers worn as a club 'uniform' is circa 1905 in the cricket club and 1907-08 in the football club. The cricket club photo dating from around 1905 (see : PH217) clearly shows five members wearing club blazers with apparently four different designs, one of which approximately matches that shown below as BZ006. The football club were all kitted out in blazers when they won the Welsh Championship in 1907-08 and are shown wearing the badge adorned blazers in the collage image of that season. However we know that the club was awarded blazers by the Swansea based outfitters T.C. Palmers of Castle Street upon achieving their 'Invincible' season of 1904-05. Blazers were also awarded for specific achievements like that of Cyril Walters touring with the MCC to India in 1933 (see: BZ007).

Swansea's footballers were awarded specially badged blazers in  1912-13 on again becoming Welsh Champions, when they defeated New Zealand in 1935, again in 1953 when a six-all draw was made with the All Blacks and in 1966 for defeating Australia (see: PH067), though in this instance only the blazer badge was awarded. Generally speaking a blazer was awarded after 40 games at the Swansea Cricket & Football Club. By the 1960s only the blazer badge was awarded.

As with clubs, international blazers were a coveted posession, often displaying, as below,  a particular tour or competition. this honour extended to the British & Irish Lions as shown in the examples below.


Blazer, Swansea Cricket & Football Club, T Aubrey Hill - 1933


Blazer, Wales, Japan tour - 1975


Blazer, New Zealand, Graham Mourie - 1980


Blazer, Barbarians FC, Trevor Evans - 1975-76


Blazer, Swansea Cricket Club - Circa 1900


Blazer, MCC, Cyril Walters - MCC Tour to India 1933


Blazer, Wales, Geoff Wheel - Triple Crown - 1976-77


Blazer, British & Irish Lions, Geoff Wheel - 1977


Blazer, Wales, Trefor Evans - 1976


Blazer, Wales, Tony Clement - RWC 1995


Blazer badge, Swansea RFC, Billy Trew (snr) - 1912-13


Blazer, Swansea RFC, Jack Marker - 1953


Newspaper advertisement Cambrian Saturday 29th April 1905 p4. T.C. Palmer's Outfitters, Swansea, to provide free blazers for the Swansea RFC 1st XV.