Scottish League Classics – Celtic, 1987-88

Nowadays, clubs tend to mark their centenaries or other big anniversaries with special commemorative shirts – look, for example, at Bayern Munich’s recent 120th-anniversary strip.

Celtic got in on that act back in 2012-13 as their third shirt was a special effort to mark their 125th birthday but, back in the 1980s and 1990s, turning 100 was something that teams celebrated in a more sedate fashion, usually with a special crest.

Celtic-1987-1988-Umbro-centenary-homeSo it was that Celtic’s new home shirt launched in 1987 was geared towards the big occasion the following year, as a new badge featuring a Celtic cross was used.

Umbro’s smart new grandad-style collar was used, while a checked pattern featured, diagonally on the shirt and straight on the shorts.


As usual, the backs of the shirts were blank domestically, with the players’ numbers shown on the front and back of the shorts. However, for European competition – a Uefa Cup first-round defeat to Borussia Dortmund in this case – shirt numbers had to be used.

The goalkeepers’ shirts were a mix of different Umbro teamwear styles – the shoulder pads appeared on the International, Mexico and Grobbelaar designs, while the ‘1’ figures repeating through the fabric were from the, you guessed it, Number One model.

Celtic-1987-1988-Umbro-goalkeeper-yellow-centenary-01Celtic-1987-1988-Umbro-goalkeeper-grey-centenary-01Packie Bonner had matching padded green shorts (different to those of the away kit – see below) and socks for the yellow shirt. When the team played in yellow and he switched to grey – which had been first-choice for the previous few seasons – the same yellow-trimmed shorts were worn. It foreshadowed what would happen the goalkeeper outfit-wise at Italia 90.

Celtic had introduced a yellow away kit – and little-used white third strip – in 1986 and that was retained for the centenary season, with the new crest added to the shirt, but not the shorts, in January 1988. With Billy McNeill back in charge, Celtic marked the season in style as they won the league, losing only three of 44 games, and beat Dundee United to win the Scottish Cup.

While the home strip would remain unchanged the following season and into 1989, a new change kit appeared for the trip to Hibernian in January of that campaign. Featuring a darker green, it gave a preview of the excesses that were in store in the 1990s.

2 comments on “Scottish League Classics – Celtic, 1987-88

  1. Jordi

    Umbro at that time were brilliant as are all these celtic shirts.

    Regarding the color combination for the away it could be the only team mixing green with yellow as usually its with blue (las palmas, cadiz, fenerbache) or black (Dortmund and dynamo dresden)

    1. Charlie Steele

      Norwich? LA Galaxy pre-2007? The United Newton Heath kits? Also I’m assuming you’re excluding countries, but there are number of examples there too


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