GLITW Kit of The Week – Shelbourne, 1992-94

Yes, it’s another new series – the more pressure to provide content, the greater chance of it being generated.

Despite its many flaws, not least those related to kits, we do love the League of Ireland, self-mockingly referred to by fans as the #greatestleagueintheworld. There has been a rich array of strips, good and bad, and we will try to celebrate some of them every Thursday (we had planned to start this last week, but the bad weather meant that all of the fixtures were postponed).

We’ll start with the kit worn by reigning champions Shelbourne in the 1992-93 season. Having won the league in a fairly bland but inoffensive kit, they were turned out in something completely different as they sought to defend their title.

Shelbourne-1992-1993-O'Neills-home-kit-Dulux-01

The basic pattern was similar to that on Cagliari’s 1990-91 Umbro shirt, but the Italians had had it tonally whereas O’Neills made it stand out in white on Shels’ kit. As a result, the logo on sponsors Dulux had to be rendered primarily in blue.

The neck was a new style, similar to that introduced by adidas in 1991 – the Shels away shirt took the adidas similarities a step further – and the overall look was so eye-catching and distinctive that Shels used an appropriation of the design for their programme cover.

Shels couldn’t retain the title, losing out to Cork City after the two clubs and Bohemians finished level on points and had to take part in a play-off. They did win the FAI Cup though and beat Karpaty Lviv in the following season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup before being eliminated by Panathinaikos.

For 1994-95, it was back to an all-red shirt, and red shorts too. We’re still waiting on a modern-day tribute to the 1992-94 shirt, but it can’t be far away, surely?

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