THE new 1874 Northwich away shirt was revealed this week, and it would be an understatement to say it’s got people talking.

It’s bold, it’s different, and it’s inspired by Northwich. But despite being so rooted in the heritage of the town, it’s causing a stir from much further afield. Within hours of its reveal, the club had orders from Spain, the Netherlands and even Australia.

Northwich Guardian:

Jack Pritchard, Scott McGowan and Kyle Phipps. Picture by Liam Rigby. 

With the club wanting to move away from the traditional maroon away colours, it was put to supporters to vote on a new colour for the coming season, and the choice was blue. The rest was down to Kingsmead artist Phil Galloway.

Phil, who has been commissioned previously by Nike, Puma and BT Sport, volunteered his spare time for months to design the kit for free, saying it was ‘from the heart’.

The Guardian caught up with him to find out more about how he came up with the design...

Northwich Guardian: Phil Galloway has made a name for himself with creative digital art

Portrait artist Phil Galloway talks us through his design of the 1874 away shirt.

What was your brief when it came to designing the kit?

1874 put it out to the fans to choose the colours and put forward design ideas and in the background all the while I was thinking through design ideas. The brief was to reflect the town and it sounds a bit silly I know, and people say ‘how do you reflect a town through a football kit?’ but that is what we wanted to do.

Talk us through the design. How did you reflect the town in it?

When the colour was chosen, that’s when I started looking through old Northwich crests and stuff like that first of all. I came across an old civic crest that isn’t used anymore, but it has a ship with a blue and white zig zag line and an upside-down Y-shape to suggest where the rivers meet.

Northwich Guardian:

The design was inspired heavily by Northwich

I’m a big fan of the old late 80s, early 90s kits, that used a lot of chevron shapes like the Denmark and Holland kits, so I wanted to incorporate the zig zags and Y-shape to make something like that.

And then I wanted to bring in some of the old Tudor patterns and use some of the shapes that can be seen all around town but also keeping with the new modern buildings like the Memorial Court and Sir John Deane’s College.

It’s a design that’s different to say the least! Was the intention to get a big reaction?

I spoke with 1874 and we wanted to go bold with it, and we mentioned the Nigeria kit from the World Cup last year. We wanted it to make a statement on social media and put Northwich and the football club on the map, so we knew it was going to be polarising.

Northwich Guardian:

The new shirt has caused a stir since it's reveal this week

I produced five versions of the design, with the first one quite a basic design and then each one getting more elaborate and bolder. I told them that I preferred the bolder one, so I was made up that they decided to go with that one as well.

I think it was right to go big with it, because it reflects the club as well. They want to go places, they want to build and grow their identity. It’s a lower league but it’s got a big team mentality.

Are you an 1874 fan?

I’m a Liverpool fan, and being originally from Altrincham, I follow them as well, which I know has raised some eyebrows with them being fierce rivals with 1874! But I have a close affinity with 1874. All my friends in Northwich support them and I really like what they stand for and where they’re heading… plus I’ve always liked the design of their badge.

Northwich Guardian:

In the background, Northwich Memorial Court, which provided inspiration to the design

What was the idea behind the pink goalkeeper shirt? 

Well when they first started asking the fans for ideas for colours, pink was actually one of the biggest suggestions early on. So, I started thinking of how I could work with that and started coming up with some ideas for those pink and magenta colours, and I loved the idea, but then the club ended up going with blue. 

So when it came to decided what to do with the goalkeepers kit, I was really happy when it was decided to go with the pink, and the main design transfers quite well with those colours. 

Northwich Guardian:

The pink version will be worn by the goalkeeper this season

I've already had people message me saying they've ordered both, so I can't wait to see some big burly men wearing bright, pink football shirts. It's brilliant!

Have you ever designed a football kit before?

No, it’s the first time I’ve been asked to do one and I jumped at the chance. It’s a bit of a boyhood dream to be honest. I used to sit in school designing football kits for the world cup, so to get the chance to do it and see my design actually being made into a kit is a dream come true, so I wanted to go big because it may be my only opportunity to make a kit. That’s what my heart was telling me to do. I wanted to cause a stir.

READ>Northwich scout saved boy's life at World Scout Jamboree in America

Would you do it again?

Definitely! It’s been a learning curve for me. I’m more of a portrait artist so I had to change my mindset a lot and I had to learn about what’s possible when designing a kit as well. But I’d be more than up for doing another one.