Ebbets Field Flannels x Whistles: A collaboration built on heritage, pride and togetherness, celebrating an item that has played an integral role in the game as we know it for more than 100 years

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time, back in the middle of the nineteenth century, when caps were more than just a way for Chris Kirkland to keep the Sheffield sun out of his eyes, or for Tony Pulis to add a brimmed cherry to the top of his shell suit cake.

For, in the days before the codification of the game, and prior the creation of the Football Association, coloured caps were the means by which the game’s earliest pioneers – the schoolboys of Eton, Harrow, Marlborough et al – would distinguish themselves from their opposition during unruly encounters in the serene surroundings of some of England’s most prestigious and genteel institutions. The flannel caps that adorned their heads in those days served a practical purpose, of course, but they were also symbolic of belonging to something bigger than the individual, of fighting for a team united in the pursuit of a common goal.

In time, matching jerseys, shorts and socks would come to supersede the humble cap, badges replacing team colours as a primary marker of allegiance. Far from disappearing from view, though, the cap took on a more ceremonial significance, as the Football Association continued the custom of presenting one, delicate and hand-stitched, to each player prior to international matches. The message was, and remains, clear: whether its your first, tenth or hundredth cap, this is something that has been earned through hard work and dedication, and is an object to be treasured and coveted – the highest honour in the game.

These notions of heritage, endeavour and belonging are at the centre of Whistles’ latest collaboration; two limited edition flannel caps, produced in partnership with Ebbets Field Flannels, who, with more than a quarter of century’s experience of producing vintage baseball apparel, are no strangers to the history and continued importance of this quintessential piece of headwear. We’re just hoping that Tony Pulis might take one into consideration for the 2015-16 season.

The Ebbets Field Flannels x Whistles flannel caps are available online and in selected Whistles stores in May, in two colourways. One hundred percent of the profits from the collaboration will be donated to Trekstock and Whistles’ Canaltrek fundraising project.

Justin Fashanu Pre-Match Meal