Cook & Hurst is founded
The company that became Admiral started life in 1903 as a hosiery manufacturer, established in the Leicestershire town of Wigston by Christopher Cook and Harold Hurst.
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The Admiral brand is born
A decade into business and with a growing reputation, Cook & Hurst built a new, bigger factory next to the original, after the demolition of some adjoining cottages.
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Trusted military suppliers once again
Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, our Wigston factory began to operate around the clock to produce garments for both British and American forces.
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Gordon Banks’s 1966 World Cup shirt
In anticipation of the 1966 World Cup, we designed a new style of lightweight interlock football jersey. The ‘World Cup’ shirt featured built-in elastication at the neck and cuffs, giving complete freedom of movement while also helping to retain its shape.
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Admiral’s Leeds kit is a hit
Our first Leeds kit was revolutionary in that the shirt included several colours, rather than just one block colour. Replica versions of it and the tracksuit were put on sale to the general public, proving a huge success and thus kickstarting the replica-kit market.
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Admiral lands the England job
When England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup, the FA sacked longtime manager Sir Alf Ramsey and appointed Don Revie, who immediately set about making changes big and small, including the kit.
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Outfitting the Tour de France winners
The 1980 TI-Raleigh-Creda team, which won that year’s Tour de France race, pedalled to glory in Admiral jerseys. This was a welcome bit of non-football representation for our brand, helping to combat pigeon-holing and raise our profile among a totally different sports audience.
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That England ’82 World Cup kit
Despite having been the England kitmaker for eight years, Admiral had not yet outfitted England for a World Cup. Thanks to a Paul Mariner goal against Hungary in a tight 1-0 qualifier, the Three Lions just about clinched their place and headed for Spain in June 1982.
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Admiral in the Premier League era
As the eighties became the nineties and the First Division became the Premier League, our brand was as big as ever. Middlesbrough wore Admiral kits from 1990 until 1994, and we secured a deal with Leeds United for the inaugural Premier League season, after they won the last ever First Division title.
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Wolves’ play-off euphoria
At the end of the 2002-03 season, Wolverhampton Wanderers finished in 5th place in the First Division, but then went on to secure their place in the Play-Off Final against Sheffield United.
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Admiral-clad England smashes the Ashes...
In summer 2005, the England cricket team won the Ashes for the first time in 18 years, beating Australia to claim the urn for the first time since 1987.
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Reunited with Leeds
For the 2005-06 season, we once again became the kit supplier for Leeds United, after a 12-year hiatus.
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Back to being a family-run business
Admiral Sportswear Limited was established in 2011 and acquired the trademark rights for the Admiral brand across the EMEA region.
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Admiral turns 100
Although our origins technically span back to 1903 with the founding of Cook & Hurst’s fledgling company, our official centenary as Admiral came in 2014 – marking exactly 100 years since the Admiral brand was first used on our products.
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