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Wales Match Shirts

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The clothing manufacturer Bukta were founded in 1879, by Edward R Buck, in Stockport, Manchester. Originally making shorts for the Armed Services, it soon became established as the first brand producing sportswear and equipment, making its first football shirt for Nottingham Forest in 1884.

Although continuing to produce football kits and becoming the official supplier of uniforms to the Scout & Guide Movements early in 20th Century, it wasn't until 1933 that the company officially sponsored kits for both FA Cup Final teams, Everton and Manchester City. What was also unique about the 1933 Football Association Challenge Cup final, it was the first time that numbers were worn on shirts. Unusually though, Everton wore numbers 1 to 11 on their shirts and City wore 12-22 on theirs. By the end of the decade the company had moved to a larger premises in Manchester.

During the early 1960's the company became the largest supply of football kit to professional clubs, including the England national team, during their Centenary celebrations in 1963, but lost the contract before Englands finest hour in 1966. In the 1970's Ajax won their first of three consecutive European Cups in Bukta kit, and the Welsh national team, supplied by a Cardiff sports shop, wore Bukta for the first time in one game against England in 1972. After the company had supplied match officials in the 1974 World Cup Finals, Englishman Jack Taylor refereed the Final, Wales again had the kit supplied by Bukta during the whole of 1975, a year which saw West Ham United win the FA Cup with a Bukta logo on their shirts.

Bukta only supplied Wales with kit for its national team on 8 occasions, 7 in 1975, when they had the Gorau-Chwarae-Cyd-Chwarae scroll removed from the national crest. This set a trend with the next three kit suppliers Admiral, Adidas and Hummel, followed their example and omitted the strap line from the national crest, for the next 15 years. 

The company can claim to have kitted out the likes of George Best, Jimmy Greaves and Diego Maradona, plus Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton and Newcastle United, but fell on hard times during the 1990's, when the "leaping buck" logo virtually disappeared from the footballing landscape. The company's sporting connections were resurrected again in 2007 and only time will tell if the oldest sportswear company in world can experience the same 21st Century resergence seen by the North West neighbours Umbro.