Forest Green Rovers have launched their new home and away kits for the 2016-17 and both will feature the skull and crossbones insignia of marine conservation organisation, Sea Shepherd.
Sea Shepherd has been fighting against the destruction of habitats and the slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans for over forty years – and they use direct action to expose and frustrate illegal activity on the high seas, particularly whaling.
Drawing on the nautical theme and Sea Shepherd insignia for inspiration, the club launched the home and away kits with a photo-shoot at Purton Ship Graveyard – a location with 81 vessels beached alongside the shoreline.
FGR Chairman Dale Vince has been a patron of Sea Shepherd since 2014 and has supported them for over seven years – now the club has launched a partnership that will see the Sea Shepherd insignia on club kits, flags, advertising boards and posters at The New Lawn.
The new home shirt keeps the now iconic green and black hoops, but adds a smart new collar, which is also used in the new black and white hooped away kit. There is also a return to a pink goalkeeper strip, a popular feature from the 2014-15 season.
The kits will be used in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons to offer better value for
supporters, bucking the trend of the one season kit cycle used by Premier League clubs.
Dale Vince, Forest Green Rovers Chairman, said: “Sea Shepherd’s work is truly inspirational – and it will be awesome to see the name on the back FGR shirts. They put themselves on the front line, in the cross hairs between the hunters and their would-be victims. Their non-violent, but very direct action is effective not just in protecting sea life, but in getting these issues to the forefront of public consciousness.”
Rob Read, Chief Operations Officer at Sea Shepherd UK, said: “The partnership between FGR and Sea Shepherd is a dream come true. Sea Shepherd has a really strong following from environmentalists, vegans and animal activists and so do FGR, so we fit together really well and there should be lots of opportunities to cross promote our work.
Hopefully, the upcoming season will take FGR to a new level and we’ll be there right alongside the club. I’m sure the shirt will be a real hit with our fans and fans of FGR and I look forward to wearing it as a supporter myself.”
On the day of the photo-shoot, Dale handed over a new team shirt to Rob with ‘Ocean Warrior – 77’ on the back, the name and number a nod to the charity’s founder Paul Watson and the year of Sea Shepherd’s launch.
Since 1977, Sea Shepherd has become one of the world’s leading marine conservation charities and works with governments across the world to prevent illegal slaughter of ocean wildlife and habitats – it recently rose to prominence due to the popularity of the programme Whale Wars on the Animal Planet channel, a documentary charting Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling efforts off the coast of Antarctica.
FGR, the world’s only vegan football club, will dedicate its first home friendly of the season against Cardiff City to the new partnership with Sea Shepherd – and will fly the skull and crossbones flag at the game and for the rest of the season.