The new League of Ireland season started last weekend, and as yet, we’re unaware of any kitastrophes, but they’re never too far away. It’s far from a new phenomenon, though, as you will see with the latest edition in the Midweek Mashup series.
As we related in a recent article, Cork City caused some consternation to league officials in 1993-94, when they premiered a new black away kit. The first outing for that kit was a home game against title rivals Shamrock Rovers, who played in their purple away kit when theoretically they could have worn their usual green and white hoops.
The following season, though, Rovers turned up at City’s Bishopstown ground on March 24 with just their home kit – we’ll put it down to absent-mindedness rather than an assumption that City had permanently changed to black, given that they had played in the interim.
Generally in such cases back then, the visiting team would wear a change strip belonging to the home side – Cork City lent kits to opponents in 1990 (Dundalk), 1998 (Derry City), 1999 (Galway United) and 2007 (Bray Wanderers), Derry themselves had to come to Shelbourne’s rescue in 2001, while St Patrick’s Athletic helped out Sligo Rovers in 2008.
City could of course have worn the black kit as another option – perhaps it wasn’t to hand – but instead referee Tommy Traynor decided to allow a compromise – both teams could wear their home shirts (City in green, white and red stripes, Rovers in green hoops) once the visitors wore alternative shorts.
Despite City having worn both navy and red shorts with their kit that season, neither set was available and so kick-off was delayed for 15 minutes as a trip was made so that shorts could be borrowed from local junior club Glasheen. It certainly made for an unusual look for Rovers:
Incidentally, at the time we thought that the diagonal line breaking the hoops was guerrilla marketing for sponsors Whirlpool, but their ‘loop’ goes the other way.
Unfortunately, we have no colour picture of how the two shirts with large elements of green and white looked together, but the game proceeded without any further trouble.
Rovers won 1-0, Eoin Mullen’s goal putting them joint-top of the table with Derry City, but all of the chasing pack had games in hand and so by season’s end the Hoops were in sixth, one place ahead of City, whose bright beginning and middle to the season was undone by an awful end.