Ireland shirts evoke special memories. They are synonymous with success and failure, with memorable home victories and adventurous away days, with majestic performances and legendary goals. We have had some iconic shirts over the years. Here are five of the best:
5. 2010-2011 Umbro Home Shirt
A clean and timeless design. This “Tailored by Umbro” effort came in a shade of green known as St Patrick. The white V-neck and cuffs, gold stitching and cotton like material gave this jersey a real throwback and retro feel. Complimented by white shorts with green trim and green and white hooped socks. The shirt was worn in the first international game at the revamped Lansdowne Road (Aviva Stadium), which consequently was also Robbie Keane’s 100th cap for his country.
4. 1994 Adidas Away Shirt
The jersey which will forever be associated with John Aldridge going ballistic at a sideline jobsworth in a yellow baseball cap! This cracker of a shirt was white with three horizontal green stripes trimmed with orange, thick collar, and tricolour flags on the sleeves. We wore this in USA ‘94 against Norway, Mexico, and Holland in searingly hot temperatures. Very much a mid-90’s kit, large fitting and dazzling colours were the order of the day. And a beautiful FAI badge too.
3. 1990-1992 Adidas Home Shirt
The shirt worn in our first ever appearance at a World Cup Finals in 1990. This jersey brings back incredible memories as the country went football mad. The standout feature was the chevrons in the material, nicely complimented by the white and orange collar, three stripes on the sleeves and the FAI badge with the green shamrock and orange surround. Who can forget Kevin Sheedy’s thunderbolt against England, Niall Quinn’s equaliser against Holland, Pat Bonners save from Daniel Timofte and of course the immortal words by George Hamilton “The nation holds its breath” before David O’Leary slammed in his winning penalty in the shoot out against Romania to send us into the quarter finals and the country into delirium. Big Jack reportedly never had to buy a drink in Ireland again after this tournament! Special times.
2. 1978-1982 O’Neill’s Home Shirt
An absolute classic. This jersey is synonymous with the Eoin Hand era, which was a mixture of bad luck and what ifs for the team. It is also the shirt that Ireland wore when they were shamefully robbed in an away game against Belgium in qualification for the 1982 World Cup. Outstanding players such as Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton, Steve Heighway, and Mark Lawrenson wore this kit with great distinction. This vivid green with yellow and white trim and shamrock on shield effort is near perfection. O’Neill’s collaboration with the Ireland soccer team was the company’s first venture into the international soccer market. O’Neill’s shirts had three stripes on their sleeves. Adidas were offended by this (as three stripes were their trademark) so took the Irish Sportswear company to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that O’Neill’s could retain three stripes on their shirts made and sold in Ireland. This kit inspired the current Castore Home shirt and O’Neill’s also currently have a pin striped replica version available for purchase.
1. 1988-1990 Adidas Home Shirt
The shirt that we wore in our first appearance at a major tournament – Euro ‘88. This is a jersey that is synonymous with Ray Houghton putting the ball into the English net and securing a famous 1-0 win. A timeless masterpiece. Adidas trefoil, three stripes on the sleeves, white mesh panels and the classic (and best) FAI badge. Just perfect. And who could forget Ronnie Whelan’s acrobatic stunner of a goal in our brilliant performance against the eventual finalists the USSR. A shirt that will forever be associated with the magical summer when “Joxer went to Stuttgart.”
So, which is your favourite Ireland shirt of all time? Does your choice not feature in our list? Let us know in the comments below!