Earlier this week, Sam Allardyce “left his role” as Everton manager, his 11th different permanent post.
His first came nearly 27 years ago as player-manager of Limerick City, who had just been relegated from the League of Ireland Premier Division.
Limerick City had come into being in 1983 at the expense of Limerick United (essentially, the ground and players were the same but the ownership changed) and initially they wore yellow and green with an unusual crest:
However, by the time Allardyce had arrived, United’s blue and white had been restored as the colours while the circular crest now featured the Treaty Stone, a Limerick landmark.
While templates get something of a bad rap nowadays, we don’t have a huge problem with them once the design is one that works well in varying colourways.
Limerick’s at that time, made for adidas by Three-Stripe International in Cork, ticked that box, even if it was a style which had been seen on Bayern Munich up to five years previously.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper John Grace was at levels of snazziness that were dangerous for the League of Ireland in a crestless Taifun shirt.
Limerick reached the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup that season, losing to Cork City at Turner’s Cross. I was at the game and recall Allardyce giving himself number 8 despite playing in defence – a frustrated midfielder, perhaps?
The primary aim of promotion back to the Premier Division was achieved as they went up as champions, finishing five points ahead of Munster rivals Waterford United (this was still the era of two points for a win).
Allardyce’s sojourn on Shannonside was to end come the summer, though, with bigger things awaiting.