- Credit to The Celtic Wiki for having the relevant information for us to work with.
Colour-clashes and how to solve them – or not – has long been something of interest in these quarters.
In yesterday’s Midweek Mashup, we mentioned the ‘overall clash’. Effectively, this is a situation where two opposing shirts may not clash directly with each other, but the colours of the shorts and socks can have a big impact in how easy or difficult it is to distinguish the two kits.
As we mentioned in this piece on Newcastle United’s Asics kits, a ‘classic’ striped or hooped shirt can be worn against a full kit in either of the stripe colours – once the opposition’s kit is a solid block.
Which brings us to Celtic and Hibernian, two Scottish clubs with Irish roots and who both wear green and white as a result. Nowadays, in an era where teams change as much as they can, the away side changes when they meet – and both changed in the 2001 Scottish Cup final – but until the late 1980s, both clubs wore their home kits.
April 1987 is the first example we have of Celtic wearing an away kit at Easter Road (they wore hoops there in November of that season). From the summer of ’87, Hibernian partnered with adidas and for the next six seasons their change stripes would be white shirts and green shorts, making the situation more awkward at Celtic Park.
As a result, we’ll look at a specific example from May 1989. These were the clubs’ two home kits:
With good intentions, Hibs wore their away shirts and shorts, as well as the home socks to avoid a clash with Celtic’s white pairs.
Now, there are those who look at kits as three separate elements, and who feel that once each team has each element in a different colour to the opposition, everything is fine.
This match-up ticks those boxes, but in practice it didn’t work – there was too much of a mesh of green and white. The custom is of course that the host team’s first-choice kit is worn in its entirety, but if Celtic had worn green alternative shorts and socks and Hibs had worn all-white, it would have been the optimum solution, short of The Bhoys wearing their yellow away.
The bottom two combinations would have resulted in the same problems, however.
What actually happened on the day in question was that Hibs sought to change at half-time – from their away shirts to their home. It created a block of green while Celtic’s shorts and socks made for a white overall look for them, and the sleeves were distinguishable too.
Not the best solution in the world, but the best available at the time.