- Erwan is a Frenchman who has developed a soft spot for Northern Irish side Institute. He got in touch with a couple of interesting kit observations
It would be fair to call Institute, currently playing in the NIFL Premiership, a modest club, even from a Northern Irish perspective.
Created in 1905 as the football section of the local Presbyterian Working Men Institute in Derry/Londonderry, the club’s roots back are from a time where the church wanted to provide healthy activities to its youth through sport.
Like more than a few of the clubs from the Protestant community in Northern Ireland, Institute’s first colours were blue, white and red. Since the 1990s though, the red socks have been superseded by royal blue, navy or white sets and the shorts have also changed through the years.
Regarding the away shirt, Institute has often used claret as a back-up, a colour choice which seemed to be a reference to the crimson flags used by the people of the city during the Siege of Derry in 1689.
Interestingly enough, during a chat with the chairman of the club, he told me that one of the difficulty with choosing a kit is that “it needs to suit the players’ tastes,” adding that the claret shirt was not very popular among the players. These are perhaps the reasons why this season Institute changed their away shirt colour and went for a grey kit instead.
However, the current away shirt is actually…the same shirt that Institute has been using home for the last past two years, as seen through black and white glasses. Indeed the club choose the exact same template by Uhlsport, only operating a change to the colours: the dark navy and sky blue being replaced by black and grey.
Then, at the beginning of September, Institute were away to Glentoran and wore the grey kit.
During the first half, after a challenge with a Glenman, Raymond Foy started to bleed as he got hit in the face by his opponent’s elbow. The play stopped for a moment, but in order to get back on the pitch Foy had to get himself a new shirt as his shirt had been covered with blood marks.
While it’s not unusual for a player in such a situation to return with an unnumbered shirt, Foy appeared back on the pitch wearing a shirt without a number, name, crest, sponsor or competition patch! He played like that until he was substituted in the second half.