1995

Fremantle joined the AFL as its 16th national league team - and second from Western Australia. In a competition loaded with clubs wearing blues, white, red and yellow, the Dockers became the first AFL team to adopt purple in a playing uniform - and the first to have four colours (red, white, green and purple). It was a pointer to what was to come.

John Cahill completed a phenomenal sequence of 10 premierships - to join Jack Oatey as the most-successful coach in SANFL history - from 10 grand finals. It began with the SANFL centenary premiership in 1977 and continued with 1979, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, the flag of defiance in 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1995.

And the Formula One Grand Prix is raced on the Adelaide street circuit for the last time.

We can only guess ... until the AFL era.

Port Adelaide's wardrobe of jumpers is filled with many colours (and designs with even the trademark black-and-white combination of the 20th century presented in many forms until Bob McLean insisted on stripes being replaced by the bars in the 1950s).

But why the Port Adelaide Football Club took up one set of colours and changed to another is not detailed with authority until the preparations for AFL entry in 1995.

We can guess ....

Blue and white, from formation in 1870 to the eve of the formation of Australia's first formal league competition, the SA Football Association in 1877.

Were the blue-and-white hoops a natural derivative of the blue-and-white shirts worn by sailors on the docks at Port Adelaide?

Pink and white on entry as a foundation club with the SA Football Association in 1877 - and for the first seven seasons in the new competition.

02:05 Mins
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The Port Adelaide Football Club Archives Collection | PTV

AS PART of its 150th anniversary celebrations Port Adelaide is releasing a unique book that captures the proud journey of the club on and off the field.Marking the club's 150th year, the Port Adelaide Football Club Archives Collection chronicles...

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Was this colour set a remnant of the short-lived Queenstown and Alberton Football Club where some of Port Adelaide's start-up players of 1870 had doubled-up for games in the pioneers days of South Australian football?

Magenta and blue for the first premiership in 1884 - and the second (1890) and third (1897) and first Champions of Australia title in 1890.

Who wants a guess on this one? Was this colour combination a remnant of memories from England with the claret-and-blue shirts of teams in association football?

And to black-and-white - and the bars jumper - in 1902.

Did the magenta dye become too difficult to find at the turn of the century?

Or did the presence of another team wearing blue - Sturt as the SA Football League's seventh club from 1901 and with two shades of blue in its uniform - make it prudent for Port Adelaide to change again?

Remarkably, the majority of Port Adelaide Football Club members opposed the change from the "Magentas" when the club had its annual meeting at the Railway Hotel at Port Adelaide on Wednesday, March 26, 1902.

The Evening Journal reported: "A discussion took place on the question of the colours. It was mentioned the magenta and blue jackets were very unsatisfactory to the players and that it was impossible to procure properly dyed costumes.

"A proposal to submit the question to a committee for consideration was not entertained, and after a lengthy discussion it was decided to retain the old colours."

The Advertiser declared: "A discussion took place concerning the question of the club's colours. It was argued that the present colour faded rapidly and black-and-white was suggested as a substitute. A majority, however, decided for the retention of the magenta and blue."

At the SA Football Association meeting at the Prince Alfred Hotel in the city on April 28, Port Adelaide formally registered black and white as its new colours.

Beyond all doubt is why Port Adelaide took on a new look for its start in the AFL from the 1997 season - and four colours for the first time in the club's history.

Port Adelaide premiership captain Brian Cunningham (1979-1980-1981 SANFL flags) was in the club's chief executive chair in 1995 when the decisions had to be made on how the AFL team would be presented in the national league.

"We did not want to lose black and white, not when it had been our club colours for such a long time," Cunningham recalled of the decisions made months after the SANFL awarded Port Adelaide the second AFL sub-licence placed in South Australia.

"Black and white had to be part of the mix.

"The AFL (accepting Collingwood's protest there could be just one team in black-and-white stripes) wanted us to come up with another colour not being used by any other club."

No red, navy or royal blue, no yellow, no green ... and no purple.

Port Adelaide's board settled on, as Cunningham remembers from the colour charts, "PMS371".

"Teal," said Cunningham, who with fellow board member Phil Hoffman while on holiday in the United States, found reassuring confirmation in the choice of teal.

"PMS371, teal," said Cunningham who had been taken by the colour while meeting with American basketball NBA team Orlando Magic and American football NFL franchise Miami Dolphins.

"Teal fitted with our beaches, the water in our Port River, our maritime history ... and it worked with black and white.

"(AFL telecaster) Channel Seven was happy to go with teal. The AFL liked what it saw on the tests we did with Channel Seven.

"And from what we had seen on the streets of Orlando, it was encouraging to note teal gave a vibrant feel to a town, particularly when the Magic was having success on the basketball court."

And silver?

"That was difficult to use on a guernsey," Cunningham said. "It was a colour for the future. It works with black and white ... and teal, but we felt it was for later (as noted today in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets sporting silver amidst their colourways).

"All those colours gained good support in key groups we wanted to win over - women and children aged 11 and under."

Port Adelaide presented its new colours - and its first three AFL jumpers for home, away and the pre-season Cup - at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on August 31, 1995. Before an approving audience of Port Adelaide fans filled with anticipation - and grand expectation - club captain Tim Ginever led the parade of his team-mates in jumpers that would not be seen in action until 1997 because of the AFL's decision to hold off expansion for 12 months.

Port Adelaide's two-start passage from suburbia to the national league - from the tumultuous winter of 1990 to the first bounce against Collingwood at the MCG in March 1997 - is a major feature of the Port Adelaide Football Club Archives Collection.

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