Picture of the first ever FC Barcelona shirt

The first FC Barcelona shirt

Red and blue have featured on the Barça shirt for more than one hundred years and the Club is widely known as the ‘Blaugrana’ in reference to the names of these colours in the Catalan language. However, although the shirt has remained relatively constant in design over the years, the team shorts were white for the first ten years of club history, then switched to black, and were only blue from the 1920s onwards.

Aside from Barça identifying with the blaugrana  colours, it is only natural to wonder if the colours were a conscious choice by the Club at some point during its history.

In the past there have been a multitude of theories surrounding how FC Barcelona came to acquire their famous colours but the Club itself now believes that there is one explanation that is the most plausible of them all. In this version of events, the decision came not long after the organisation’s foundation in November of 1899. On 13 December, during the second ever meeting of the board of directors, player and director Arthur Witty proposed to founder Joan Gamper that the colours of the club be maroon and blue. Witty’s choice was based on the fact that they were the same colours as the Merchant Taylors School rugby team in Liverpool whom he had represented in 1893 and 1894. Significantly, in April of 1899, months before the foundation of FC Barcelona , the Barcelona Lawn Tennis Club had been founded, which still exists under the name of the Reial Club de Tennis de Barcelona. The first president was the British Consul, Ernest F.C. Witty, Arthur’s father, and the Club’s badge also bore the colours maroon and blue.

As such, we can conclude that on 13 December, Joan Gamper saw no problem in the colours proposed by Arthur Witty, above all because they coincided with those of Basel, one of the football teams that Gamper had represented before moving to the city of Barcelona.