League of Ireland Kits of The Week – Shamrock Rovers and Galway United, 1985

If you’re a regular visitor to this blog – and, let’s face it, who isn’t? – then you’ll probably be aware of a proclivity towards adidas apparel.

Sometimes, like when recording the kits of Group B at the 1990 World Cup, it’s unavoidable; most of the rest of the time, it’s just our own preference, but we like to think it’s a preference based on quality output.

Take the 1985 FAI Cup between Shamrock Rovers and Galway United, when Noel Larkin got the only goal to give Rovers the first of three consecutive domestic doubles.

By the 1980s, adidas’s Irish licensees Three-Stripe International had secured a lot of contracts across soccer, rugby, basketball, athletics and Gaelic games and both of the finalists carried the trefoil (though neither had a crest – for the initiated, Rovers are the hoops and Galway are maroon).

As well as the great on-field strips, both sides also had excellent tracksuit tops, on display for the walk out on to the field. In fact, Rovers’ would be the same style given to the Ireland national team when they agreed a deal with adidas the following year.

Maybe it’s just nostalgia on our part, but sideline wear nowadays doesn’t seem to have the same character.

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