The Boys In Green – Ireland’s Best Kits… And Worst!
Umbro have recently released the kit to be worn by the Republic of Ireland team during this summer’s Euro 2016 finals in France.
The jury remains out in our office, so today we take a look at other kits the Irish have worn at major finals and discover where the new one rates in a countdown of the Republic’s classiest jerseys.
It will be the first time the national team will have worn an away strip at a major tournament that isn’t white and perhaps it would be better if they had stuck to tradition. We can’t see these flying off the hangers in the run up to France 2016, although one generous mark is given for the Celtic-like design.
Verdict: Awful. 1/10
World Cup 2002
The kit that Roy Keane would’ve worn had the training facilities been up to scratch in 2002. His namesake Robbie wasn’t as fussy and scored a famous last minute equaliser against Germany but it wasn’t enough to take this strip to the top of Ireland’s fashion charts. It was a bit boring if you ask us, and ranks amongst the least memorable worn by the team at major finals.
Verdict: Uninteresting. 3/10
World Cup ‘94
A strip made famous by a huge Ray Houghton goal in New York. He famously lobbed a stranded Gianluca Pagliuca from 20 yards and followed it up with a tumble and roll combo celebration that he “couldn’t even remember” when asked about it at full-time.
The tricolour collar was interesting but the strip was as messy as Andy Townsend’s haircut. Marks also have to be taken off for the accompanying goalkeeper kit worn by Packie Bonner. What were they thinking?
Verdict: Ugly & Baggy. 5/10
This was the first kit ever worn by the Republic of Ireland side at a major tournament and another which is remembered for a not insignificant Ray Houghton goal.
It took only 6 minutes for the team to register a goal at the finals in West Germany, when the diminutive Irish-Glaswegian headed in against England to give the Irish a famous victory and ensure that this little number went down in history as an iconic Rep. of Ireland jersey. It may even be worth a few quid now if you kept an original!
Verdict: Good Retro Value. 7/10
The tournament may have been forgettable for the Irish as Giovanni Trappattoni led his troops to three successive defeats in the group stages, including a 4-0 hammering by eventual winners Spain.
But the kit itself was better eye candy than the games and was a hit with the fans, especially those who benefitted from the ‘thinning’ effect of the stripes. The only goal scored in this kit at the 2012 tournament may not ring as loudly as previous iconic goals – it was Sean St. Ledger’s equaliser against Croatia in the first group game, which ended in a 3-1 defeat.
Verdict: Nice effort. 7/10
So this is the uniform set to grace the backs of Martin O’Neill’s men this summer in France. Orange has made a reappearance into the design and so far reaction has been mixed.
As for the co-ordinates which are printed on the inside of the collar, they do of course take you to the Aviva Stadium, where Ireland will wear their new strip for the first time this Friday against Switzerland. Price aside, I’m impressed.
Verdict: Lovely! 8/10
If, like me, you bought it in your local sports shop, you’ll have had the added distraction of a giant ‘OPEL’ emblazoned across the front, setting it apart from the one worn by the players during the tournament. But still, the notorious 3 stripes, coupled with the memories, this one was hard to beat.
Verdict: Simple but perfect. 10/10