Great one-offs – Republic of Ireland, 1993
One of the first entries in our new Twice as Nice category was a look at the 1988-89 Republic of Ireland change kit.
Half of its appearances came in a World Cup qualifier away to Northern Ireland and in the 1993 another white Ireland shirt would have its sole outing in a similar clash at Windsor Park.
In between, it should be pointed out, Ireland wore a white kit three times in the space of a month – Fifa’s dark/light World Cup rules meant that the 1990 strip received more exposure than any previous away kit.
During the qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup, Ireland and adidas had twice come to the rescue of visiting teams but green shirts had sufficed in all of Jack Charlton’s side’s games until the last one, away to their neighbours in November 1993.
A draw would do Ireland as long as the Spain-Denmark game in Seville produced a winner. Despite Spain losing goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta to a red card, they withstood Danish pressure and took the lead through Fernando Hierro in the 63rd minute.
Ireland, clad in a straight reversal of their usual kit, were bound for the USA only for Jimmy Quinn to put the home side ahead in the 74th minute. In an already tense atmosphere, the pressure increased but four minutes later, sub Alan McLoughlin scored a priceless equaliser. Spain held out and Ireland were through.
For the World Cup, adidas provided a new set of kits and the white shirt was worn in three of their four games – in the one where they wore green, they had initially thought they were supposed to wear white. That tournament was adidas’s swansong, as an eight-year association came to an end.
Umbro replaced adidas and we had initially thought that their white change short was also limited to one appearance against Northern Ireland but in fact it also appeared in the 1996 US Cup.
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And as previously pointed out, in the Spain versus Denmark match, Spain’s two goalkeepers wore different styled shirts.