William Crawley
William Crawley
From: (McFarlane & Roberts, 2005)
Collingwood team 1894
Earliest known photograph of the Collingwood team - 1894

The colours of the Collingwood Football Club are black and white in the design of vertical stripes. When the club was formed for entry into the Victorian Football Association(VFA) they were unable to use the colours that had represented the Britannia Football Club given Footscray (now known as Western Bulldogs) already wore, and had registered the royal colours of red, white and blue in the VFA. Therefore for entry into the VFA the colours needed to change.

McFarlane & Roberts (2005) suggest that William Samuel Crawley is credited with promoting the colours and design after sighting this on the inter-colonial team of South Australia whilst watching them take on Victoria at Adelaide Oval on Saturday 13th June, 1891. The design of the South Australia inter-colonial team was reported within 'The Advertiser' newspaper (June 15, 1891) as Our men were dressed in black and white striped guernseys, white knickers, and black stockings.... It is these colours, and style that is synonymous with the Collingwood Football Club, and are arguably the most recognisable within the Australian sporting arena.

It would however be remiss not to point out that the original design is slightly ajar for debate as The Argus newspaper reported from the inaugural game against Carlton that their colours are black and white in diagonal stripes (May 9, 1892). However, no other information available to date supports this claim. It is also possible that given the guernseys were inconsistent in design, noticeable when closely examining the 1894 team picture, that some stripes may have given the illusion of being diagonal even if that was not the intended look.

The Mercury and Weekly Courier (May 5, 1892) reported that a team photo was to be taken before the inaugural match against Carlton on behalf of a Mr Bremner, now if only a copy could be located.