League of Ireland Kit of The Week – Derry City, 1988 FAI Cup final

After a troubled existence which saw them resign from the Irish League (Northern Ireland) in 1972, Derry City entered the League of Ireland (the Republic) in 1985.

At the second time of asking, they won the First Division in 1986-87 to earn promotion to the Premier Division and while their league results saw them finish eighth of 12 teams, they made an impact in the FAI Cup.

Clad in a fairly simple adidas style (see here for an excellent Derry kit history on the club’s site), the Candystripes – the colours were inspired by Sheffield United in the 1930s – saw off St Joseph’s Boys, Bohemians, Home Farm and Longford Town to reach the domestic decider.

Their opponents would be Dundalk, who had already claimed the league title and were in search of a double – incidentally, the outfit worn by Dundalk goalkeeper Alan O’Neill is worthy of a blog of its own another day.

While Dundalk were in their usual white shirts and both teams wore black socks, neither was called upon to wear a change strip. For the occasion, Derry turned out in an unusual style with striping on the sleeves unlike anything we have seen since, and while the shirts lacked three stripes, they did have three adidas trefoil logos.


Unfortunately for Derry, they went down 1-0 as a somewhat soft Dundalk penalty proved decisive. They did bounce back to win the domestic treble the following season, but in Umbro rather than adidas kits.

They would return to adidas for one more season in 1990-91. Thereafter, they wore kits by Bukta, Matchwinner, O’Neills, Avec, Errea, Umbro, O’Neills again, Hummel, Umbro again and Hummel again before joining with adidas once more for the 2018 season.

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