Midweek Mashup – Celtic, 1991

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It’s not unknown for Celtic to dabble in non-white socks.

The first entry in this series looked at the wearing of an orange set in 1970, loaned by opponents Leeds; lime green socks were used against Hibernian in the early 1990s; while Jackie McNamara’s testimonial against the Republic of Ireland in 2005 saw green called on.

Celtic-1991-Umbro-home-green-shorts-Arsenal-01In 2012-13, the new home kit was launched with black socks but they were soon jettisoned for the familiar white, while the current season has them in predominantly green pairs.

However, the white shorts have tended to remain sacrosanct since 1898, apart from a brief period in the early 20th century when the Scottish League instructed teams to wear white shorts at home and black away.

One instance of a deviation from that came in 1991, when Celtic travelled to Highbury to play Arsenal in Paul Davis’s testimonial.

It seems strange that a referee would look for extra differentiation for what was a friendly – there was no shorts- or socks-clash rules for European games at the time, for instance – but the dark green shorts from Celtic’s away kit were worn.

As a result, Celtic also had to change their shirts. At the time, they played in unnumbered tops so as not to sully the famous hoops but, without their white shorts with large green numbers, the Bhoys’ players carried black digits on their backs in the 2-2 draw. These were shirts for Uefa competitions, with Celtic having had to wear numbers on their backs in Europe since 1975.

Will Celtic wear dark shorts with the home shirt again? It’s unlikely, with no shorts-clash rule in Scotland and the option to wear a change kit if one arises in Europe. It would take a perfect storm, like Arsenal at Fenerbahçe in 2013, such as a game at Vitesse Arnhem in a season where Celtic had a yellow away and a black third. Or perhaps a European tie at Ibrox?

1 comment on “Midweek Mashup – Celtic, 1991

  1. Charlie Steele

    Love this! Dark green shorts with a Celtic top was one of my favourite combinations to wear as a kid. Same with navy shorts with an Arsenal top!


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