Fans of Dutch Ajax crashed the club’s website on August 20, 2021, with their overwhelming demand for its new 21/22 kit inspired by the Bob Marley song “Three Little Birds.” A black strip on the new club jersey was designed by Adidas and features three little birds just below the collar on the back of the shirt along with red, yellow, and green details. The new design is a tribute to the love that Ajax fans have for the iconic Jamaican reggae song.
Ajax revealed the new strip via Twitter, posting, “Rise up this mornin’, smile with the rising sun. Introducing our new 21/22 third jersey, inspired by our collective love for Bob Marley and his Three Little Birds.” Within minutes of the announcement, the club’s website crashed as a multitude of fans visited the site in an attempt to purchase the shirt. Demand was so great that the club had to implement a queue in which fans must wait patiently for their opportunity to get the shirt.
The love affair between Ajax supporters and Marley’s song began in 2008 after a pre-season friendly match in Cardiff where “Three Little Birds” played on the sound system as visiting fans were asked to remain seated. The fans immediately embraced the song and have used it as their anthem ever since that event.
Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley, posted to the Dutch side’s official website, “I am beyond touched that Ajax has taken “Three Little Birds” and made it their anthem. Stories like this warm my heart and show how impactful songs like “Three Little Birds” can be. Soccer was everything to my father. To use his words: football is freedom.”
Ajax, the current Eredivisie title holders began their defense of the title with a major 5-0 victory over NEC. In their next match, the Amsterdam club will face Twente on August 22, 2021.
The original uniform of Ajax at its founding in 1900 was all black with a red sash worn around players’ waists. It was replaced with a red-and-white striped shirt and black shorts, as red, black, and white are the colors of the Amsterdam flag. When the club was promoted to the top tier of Dutch football in 1911, it had to change its colors as Sparta Rotterdam had already claimed the same kit. Since special kits for away matches were not in existence at the time, Ajax changed its uniform to white shorts and a white shirt with a wide, vertical red stripe over the chest and back, a design that remains.
The Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax, which is also known as AFC Ajax and Ajax Amsterdam, have played in the top tier Eredivisie Dutch league since its inception in 1956. It has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, winning 35 Eredivisie titles and 20 KNVB Cups. And one of the most successful in the world. It is one of just five teams with the right to keep the European Cup and to wear a multiple-winner badge and one of the five clubs to win all three major UEFA club competitions. In 1995, Ajax was named “World Team of the Year” by World Soccer magazine. At home, Ajax plays at the Johan Cruyff Arena.