Culture

Ajax unveil special Bob Marley kit and it’s all thanks to Cardiff City

20 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Ajax’s special Bob Marley kit (Credit: Ajax/adidas)

David Owens

Dutch football giants Ajax have today unveiled their third kit – inspired by reggae legend Bob Marley.

The collaboration between the Amsterdam club, adidas and the Marley family stems from the football club’s supporters adopting of one of the singer’s most famous songs, the ode to hope and inspiration, ‘Three Little Birds’, which has been embraced and adopted as their anthem by Ajax’s fans since 2008.

What is not widely known is that the story of Ajax, Bob Marley and ‘Three Little Birds’ can be traced back to August 2008, when Ajax – then managed by Dutch football legend Marco Van Basten – played a pre-season friendly match in Cardiff, against the Bluebirds.

After a drab 0-0 draw at Ninian Park the Ajax fans were asked to remain in the stands after the game.

Cardiff City v Ajax, August 2008

To entertain the patient fans, the stadium DJ played several tracks, one of which was ‘Three Little Birds’.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Ajax fans instantly embraced the song as their own and have been singing it at every game since.

It stands as a true symbol of hope, and the Dutch fans sing the song regardless of the score in the game. It’s also been known to reverberate around the Cardiff Stadium on occasion also.

Football is freedom

The kit collaboration between Ajax, adidas and the Marley family sees the release of a third kit for 2021/2022 season.

The black kit features red, yellow and green details. On the back of the jersey, just below the collar, it features a subtle reference to the iconic song, with three little birds sitting on Amsterdam’s Andreas crosses.

The kit will be worn in this season’s European matches, alongside Ajax’ home kit.

The Bob Marley collaboration kit (Credit:Ajax/adidas)

The range also includes a track top, track pants, sweater, t-shirt and Samba footwear.

With stripes in red, yellow and green, the footwear also features the Ajax crest on the tongue of the shoe and the three little birds on Amsterdam’s Andreas crosses on the heel tab.

“I am beyond touched that Ajax has taken Three Little Birds and made it their anthem,” said Cedella Marley, who is the daughter of the reggae icon.

“Stories like this warm my heart and show how impactful songs like Three Little Birds can be. Soccer was everything to my father…and to use his words ‘football is freedom’”

The Bob Marley collaboration range is available from today via ajax.nl/shop, adidas.com, and selected stores globally.

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