A long-term admirer of hummel, John described the Danish brand as one of his "all-time favourites" when their return to Boro was announced a little over a year ago, adding that their kits are "great ideas, beautifully executed." 

And in his view, this year's efforts are no different.

"They look fantastic, they really do," he said.

"It’s capturing what it means to be Boro, and I think this has done that again.

"I think it’s such a progression from before, but it’s taking that retro look and feel that is in at the moment with real finesse.

"It’s got enough of Hummel’s flair to lift that to the next level."

The home shirt in particular, reminiscent of Boro's kits worn in the late 1980s, caught John's attention.

"Not being Boro fan, but someone who has a reasonable knowledge of the club’s history, it’s tapping into a period when the club was reborn, and that’s so important.

"Football is intrinsically a nostalgic sport, but I think you need that modern spin on it. It has to be a 'now' sport, and looking forward. Looking to the past but to build the future.

"With kit design, there’s often been that looking backwards, and - if I can put my art student hat on - now it’s happening a lot in a postmodern way.

"We’re consciously saying, we’re going to channel the energy of that period into this shirt."

Boro's home shirt harks back to those worn by the Teessiders in the late 80s

The 'yoke' of a kit has proved a popular design element in the Sky Bet Championship this season with both Derby County and Hull City promoting eye-catching designs. 

John sees the new Boro home shirt as a 'twist' on that kit feature that dates back to an iconic period for Boro.

"I’ve always seen those shirts [worn by Boro from 1987-90] as having a white yoke, with red stripes. What this has done has reversed that, in elegant fashion.

"And obviously the white band is synonymous with Boro.

"With teams like Boro, you always want to see a ratio between red and white, and it’s getting that percentage right.

"Often there’s a split opinion on a shirt, but the comments I’ve seen from fans have been pretty universally positive."

John is equally impressed with hummel's new ZeroH20 dry-dye technology, which reduces energy consumption by 50% in production of the shirts.

"That is a bit of a personal bugbear of mine, when you’re looking at single season cycle for kits," he said.

"I spoke in a number of interviews last year looking at the ecological question - with the turnover of materials and everything else, is there a green issue that football needs to be aware of?

"That is something in the production that, that really appeals to me, looking at ways to make this environmentally friendly and sustainable."

And he notes the contribution of local firm IAmTech.com, who have donated the front-of-shirt asset for all Boro's Academy and replica children's kits to local baby hospice Zoe's Place.

"Again, when you’re looking at the power that a football shirt has - there are so many meanings and messages there - it’s great to see," John said.

"Donating that space is showing how football shirts can do good.

"It’s not just a one-off, it’s longer term engagement for a great cause.

"Full marks to IAmTech for doing that."

John Devlin's International Football Kits (True Colours) has been shortlisted for The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2019 in the Illustrated Book of the Year category.

Find out more about John's work at his official website truecoloursfootballkits.com.

Boro's home, away and goalkeeper kits as designed by hummel for the 2019/20 season are now on general sale.

Shop in-store at the Riverside Stadium or online at mfcofficialdirect.co.uk.