Admiral's Summer At The Olympics
England's 1966 World Cup triumph allied to the advent of colour television was at the heart of Admiral's rise in footballing attire. Something which isn't mentioned as often as it should though, is Admiral's involvement in other sporting pursuits, most notably the 1972 Summer Olympics.
On the eve of the 1972 Summer Olympics, Team GB were looking for a new manufacturer to not only produce premium sportswear for the track but also tracksuits and leisurewear to be worn by athletes around the Olympic village in Munich, Germany. Admiral were fresh from successfully kitting-out the British Lions' New Zealand tour and were seen as the best in British sportswear manufacturing.
The new Admiral factory in Market Harborough got to work suppling kit to many of the 284 British representatives as they scored themselves a modest 18 medals which is a far cry from the modern 50 medal haul era. This was the games that saw the boxer Alan Minter collect a bronze which launched his professional career soon after. In contrast, 69 year old equestrian Lorna Johnstone cemented herself as the oldest ever Great British Olympian. It's hard to image now, but Team GB's only Gold medal on the track that year was Mary Peters in the Pentathlon, earning her the 1972 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Back in '72 Admiral's output was so pioneering, it set the brand and those who wore it apart from their competitors. We went on to make football kits for the England's national team kit and several big clubs also got onboard, but you could say Admiral's brand reputation was cemented in other sports. The 1972 Olympians aren't mentioned enough in the Admiral Sportswear story.
Words by Mark Smith