this socks tag worn by scotish football team in the world cup 74
In the early 1970s one of the dominant teams in English football were Leeds United. Clarke, Bremner, Cooper and Lorimer might have been wonderful players with a winning habit but Leeds were an uncomprimising bunch. Norman Hunter was the main enforcer in the side but they were all capable of looking after themselves. And others. In order to shake off this 'hard' image the club adopted numbered sock tags for the 1973-74 season to give a fancy-dan touch to the hard men. Leeds went on to win the title and the sock tags disappeared but the memory of that team is one of garter rather than glitter.
I believe these tags were used as another way to identify a player, before having your shirt number on your shorts. This would have been especially helpful for the referee getting the player correct for bookings and fouls. It was really helpful if the goalkeeper was hurt/sent off. That way the replacement could wear the GK shirt and still be identified correctly.
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