It was an announcement met with widespread anticipation and excitement from Boro fans, a response that matches the affinity which the club and supporters have always held for the sight of a white band on our red shirts.
“To much of the football world, a red shirt with a white band is Boro’s traditional outfit,” says Devlin, author of True Colours.
“In reality, it has been worn just over a dozen times in the club’s history.
“But that hasn’t stopped the Boro fans warming to it.”
Devlin says clubs appropriating a design and supporters taking it to heart in such a way is unusual if not unique for football fans.
“It’s not massively common, and it does tend to come from the 70s,” he says.
“This was when kits really began to flourish, coinciding with the introduction of the replica market.
“Kids then are grown adults now, and perhaps have a fondness for that period.
“You get that with Birmingham City’s shirts with a white panel down the middle, or Leyton Orient with Admiral braces.”
With this in mind, it is not difficult to understand why the white band holds such sway for Boro supporters.
First introduced by Jack Charlton when he arrived at Ayresome Park in 1973, it became emblematic of the success of our record-breaking second-tier champions the subsequent season.
“That had been a big thing with Don Revie when he went to Leeds. When Don went there we had won nothing and he changed the club completely. I’d hoped we’d be successful at Boro.
“It’s unique to the club and I know the lads liked it in my time.”
As Devlin notes, Charlton and Teesside-born Revie are far from alone in believing an eye-catching kit can have a positive impact on the pitch.
“One thing that was always a subtext in my book was whether a team looking good affects the way they play,” he says.
“In that era, managers had control over every aspect of the club, including kits, and the white band was first introduced by Charlton as a way of making the team flamboyant and arrogant.
“These things help make the team unique. It is interesting to see how these kinds of kit become very fond in the memory.”
Following Boro’s success under World Cup winner Charlton, the white band would return to Teesside sporadically over the next four decades.