Fantasy Kit Friday – Republic of Ireland Nike 1996
It’s March 17, which is of course St Patrick’s Day (unfortunately, Crystal Palace didn’t get the memo).
As we’re celebrating the world’s favourite Welshman, the Republic of Ireland are the only option for today’s FKF and we roped in friend of the site Ray Hyland for some guidance.
The number 17 was an unlucky one for Ireland when it came to Euro 96 as they lost a play-off against the Netherlands in November 1995 for the final place. The Dutch didn’t have a great finals and so in this parallel universe we’re imagining a win for Ireland in the play-off.
Italy didn’t have a great Euros either and it is their kits that Ray suggested appropriating. A classy design (made classier by the fact Italy didn’t allow manufacturers’ logos on match kits at the time), the trim on the neck, cuffs and socks works well as a call-back for what Ireland had on their 1988 and 1990 kits.
Obviously, having qualified, Ireland would then have gone on to a barnstorming victory at the tournament, giving manager Jack Charlton the perfect send-off at Wembley, 30 years after he won the World Cup there with England.
Feedback is welcome (on the kit, not our counter-factual flight of fancy) as well as suggestions for future FKFs – comment below or tweet @museumofjerseys.