Great one-offs – Republic of Ireland, 1990

Yellow goalkeeper shirts were not all that the Republic of Ireland used during their time with adidas, but they were near-ubiquitous.

The country’s first (well, really their second) game in adidas shirts, away to Belgium in 1986, saw Packie Bonner wearing the classic early 80s ‘dip dye’ design in black and orange while a home clash with Luxembourg in 1987 saw Gerry Peyton in a plainer top of a slightly different hue.

That Luxembourg game came a few months after Brazil had visited Lansdowne Road when, seemingly, Ireland didn’t have an alternative to yellow at hand, meaning Bonner wore a silver Umbro teamwear top.

These were all exceptions, though, and it was no surprise when Bonner’s new kit for the 1990 World Cup was only a small evolution on what he had had previously, with the same ‘V’ pattern as the new outfield shirts.

It was worn in the three group games against England, Egypt and the Netherlands, setting Ireland up for a last-16 tie against Romania on June 25.

The Romanians wore yellow shirts, blue shorts and red socks, which meant a change for Bonner but, thankfully, one that had been legislated for. He turned out in a grey version of the yellow shirt, the only difference in design being that the three adidas stripes were confined to the sleeves.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, extra time failed to separate the sides, meaning a penalty shootout, where Bonner immortalised himself with a save from Daniel Timofte before David O’Leary scored the winning kick to send Ireland into the quarter-finals against Italy.

Back in yellow, Bonner couldn’t stop ‘Toto’ Schillaci from sending Ireland home, but the grey shirt’s place in the history books was assured.

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