Fantasy Kit Friday – Ireland orange third kit, 1993

Joey Smith, curator of the excellent Pyro On The Pitch and the author of the just-as-good Cold War Classics series on this site, had a vision in his reverie:

Essentially, what he was looking for was a slightly earlier version of the 1997-98 Umbro Ireland away.

That kit was infamous for featuring in a game against Macedonia in 1997 – when there was no change needed – when Jason McAteer was sent off and Ireland lost 3-2, denting their World Cup qualification hopes. While sometimes referenced as kit used only once, it did also have game-time in a home friendly against Mexico in 1998.

The first outing became shorthand for disasters, so much so that the worst player in training would have to wear a goalkeeper top with ‘I had a Macedonia’ on the front.

Incidentally, before FKF became the all-conquering behemoth it now is, and before we learned how to use Adobe Illustrator, David Morrissey requested this colourway on an earlier Ireland kit:

Joey’s suggestion is for a few year later than that. While it’s the Bayern home style, with its contrasting sleeves, that he wants, the actual Bayern away of that time wasn’t a million miles away.

In keeping with the real thing, we have ramped up the black and kept green as a trim. If, in an alternate universe, a fussy governing body had decreed that Ireland’s white away didn’t provide enough differentiation against Northern Ireland in 1993, this would have been a viable alternative.

Or then, maybe wearing orange in Windsor Park wouldn’t have been seen as a good idea.


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