Anyone for an After Eight?

Not the chocolates, silly. The football strip. This is the official name for the colour Carlisle United will be wearing in some of their games next season.

United’s more traditional blue home kit was also launched over the weekend. There is nothing traditional, though, about their mint-green away strip.

It replaces last season’s purple number, which also had a certain name. After Eight, then, follows Grape Juice. Such is the world of modern football attire.

The green kit, at least, seemed to go down well with those who were first to see it.

For United’s launch event, Italian suppliers Errea brought a truck into Carlisle city centre which doubled as a pop-up shop, with displays, fitting rooms, seating area and a screen showing the firm's manufacturing process.

It was very much a new initiative from the club – and also, it must be said, a much better operation than supporters have suffered in certain past years, when kits have been delayed and, as a result, not launched to the greatest possible fanfare.

Here, there were queues outside the truck after the new designs were first displayed, on mannequins, just before 10am on Saturday.

Blues fan Ben Haworth was the first to get his hands on one of the new garments. Ben, 48, from Carlisle, has been following United since 1979 and was keen to snap up a green away shirt.

For being first to the till, he was also rewarded with a pair of tickets for each of Carlisle’s three home friendlies next month.

“I missed out on the purple [away kit] last year so I’m glad to get one this time, and I really like the colour,” Ben said.

“It looks smart. I’m looking forward to seeing them play in the new away strip. I hope it brings them good luck.”

There was also a treat in store for nine-year-old Josh Nanson, from Great Corby. The club thanked him for being the first youngster to pick up a new kit with the offer of a full mascot experience in the coming season.

The blue-and-white – sorry, ‘azzuro bianco’ – kit is more recognisably Carlisle, although there are differences here too. It will be blue shorts in 2019/20, not the more familiar white. There is also no red trim or feature on the home strip for the first time in many years. The shirt itself is based, United added, on the preferred design in a Blues Store supporters' poll last season, although with a collar taken from a different design which had attracted favour.

On sale alongside these on Saturday and Sunday were the two goalkeeping kits – one orange, the other black and ‘after eight’ – as well as some training shirts.

The city-centre pitch, attracting the curiosity of shoppers as well as fans who had made a beeline for it, seemed to be a smart move. United also brought summer signing Jack Iredale and young centre-half Jarrad Branthwaite down to meet fans on Saturday, along with keeper coach Craig Wight, with assistant manager Gavin Skelton and winger Liam McCarron showing up on Sunday.

Business appeared brisk and, while supporters will be most bothered about United signing more players to wear these new kits, the club deserve some credit for re-thinking and improving what should always be an important day on their retail calendar.

Spokesman Andy Hall said: “Having set the truck up for the previous two days, the talk at the club was very much, ‘How will it go?’ There are always nerves when you are doing something new.

“But from 9.45am on Saturday, I don’t think we could have asked for any more. There was a fantastic response in terms of people turning up and the reaction to the kits themselves has been good.”