20 September 2022

History of the Gloves

By Tolga Genç

Goalkeeper gloves have a highly controversial history, and there is no accepted timeline or evolutionary record of their development. This haphazard situation has led to several goalkeepers being declared pioneers of goalkeeper gloves. This situation does not mean, of course, that such claims are false.

Argentine Amadeo Raul Carrizo, who is often said to be the first goalkeeper to wear gloves, is an example. In 2010, Daily Telegraph wrote that Carrizo was the first to wear a pair of gloves during his time with River Plate in the 1940s. This news would probably surprise Scottish goalkeeper Archie Pinnell, pictured in the mid-1890s wearing a pair of gloves, leaning against the goal post on Dole Lane, home of Lancashire League team Chorley.

Archie Pinnell – Source: Goalkeepers are different

According to the New York Times, in 2014, an English football manufacturer named William Sykes got an order for a pair of leather gloves to be used while playing football in 1885. Sykes’ design included a layer of Indian rubber to help protect and support the goalkeeper’s hands. Still, over time he decided not to follow through on his original idea and shelved the design instead of going into mass production. However, that hasn’t stopped goalkeepers from trying other types of gloves.

Forty years before Carrizo emerged in South America, Welsh international Leigh Richmond Roose, an undisputed pioneer from his Argentine counterpart, often took the field with a pair of gloves when the weather was terrible. Roose realized the benefits of wearing gloves in terrible conditions. Roose’s relationship with gloves is such that a pack of cigarettes from 1909 depicted the goalkeeper at Sunderland Football Club, complete with wool gloves.

Leigh Richmond Roose – Source: Wikipedia

Some continued by wrapping the palms of their hands in bandages and releasing the fingers. Elisha Scott of Liverpool opted to wear a pair made of thick wool and gloves. They were both coincidentally on the losing side as they wore gloves in the 1922 and 1924 FA Cup Finals, worn by Preston North End’s James Mitchell and Aston Villa’s Tommy Jackson. Carlo Ceresoli from Italy wore gloves while playing for the club and the national team. Another Italian, Giampiero Combi, had chosen a pair of leather gloves against England in 1934.

Giampiero Combi – Source:Nazionale Italiana

After the end of the Second World War, knit woolen gloves were a choice for many goalkeepers in Britain, whatever the weather. Arsenal’s George Swindin, for example, chose to wear a pair of wool gloves in both the 1950 and 1952 Cup finals, with the Gunners beating Liverpool respectively, losing to Newcastle United. For a certain period, before the 1970s, goalkeepers only wore gloves when the weather was cold or wet. However, as alternatives to leather and wool varieties continued to be sought, cotton gloves began to appear at many sites, which are more common in gardens around the country. Others chose to give up gloves altogether and try other ways, as another Arsenal goalkeeper, Welsh Jack Kelsey, preferred to catch them by rubbing gum on their palms before a game. Yet even these new varieties still had the same problems in bad weather, especially in wet or snowy conditions. Both woolen and cotton gloves absorb water and cause numbness in the fingers. Leather gloves also lost certain flexibility and made it difficult to catch the ball.

However, despite these limitations, goalkeepers like Gordon Banks believed gloves were essential to any goalkeeper’s bag, especially if the ball was slippery. Speaking for Charlie Buchan’s Soccer Gift Book in 1967, Banks advised young goalkeepers always to carry a pair; “I aim to throw more punches on a wet day and without the gloves it’s dangerous,” said England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper. he was saying.

Banks wore one of the first pairs made specifically for goalkeepers at the 1970 tournament in Brazil, where he wore gloves when England beat West Germany to claim the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley in 1966. He wore a glove when he made that famous save against Pele. Although still made of cotton, these new gloves mostly contained rubber patches on fingers, knuckles, and in some cases, palms. This equipment began to appear in sports shops in the early 1970s to help a goalkeeper catch and punch the ball better.

George Best ile Gordon Banks – Source: Daily Mail

The first personalized glove, for which sports brand manufacturers, especially Sondiko, continue to work, belonged to Banks’ backup in the national team, Peter Bonetti; The green and yellow gloves each had a large “B” on the back. Gloves also began to appear in various materials such as sponges, and rubber, which try to adapt to all weather conditions and conditions.

Peter Bonetti – Source : Goalies are different

On the continent, sports manufacturers had begun to develop gloves for goalkeepers in the mid-1960s, basing it on their alpine skiing assortment. As Uhlsport spearheaded these efforts, in 1973, Gebhard Reusch teamed up with the West Germany national team and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sepp Maier to develop what he claims was the first proper goalkeeper glove in history.