Kit of the Week #98: Come on you Boys in Blue!

The Republic of Ireland celebrated the FAI’s centenary with a 4-0 victory over Qatar at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in a special edition blue and white kit from Umbro.

The history as to how St Patrick’s blue became the colour associated with early teams representing Ireland is long and complex.

Republic of Ireland, Blue, St Patrick's Blue, Umbro, Centenary, Shirt, Kit, 1921, FAI
Umbro’s shirt arrived in this luxurious presentation box

The Football Association of Ireland was founded in September 1921 amid escalating political tensions and disagreements between clubs inside and outside of Ulster.

This led to a feeling that the Irish Football Association was biased towards Belfast sides and not concentrating on the development of the game across the whole of the island.

When a new team representing the Irish Free State took to the field for their first international fixtures at the 1924 Olympic Games, they wore blue shirts similar to those they had worn prior to the split.

Republic of Ireland, St Patrick's Blue, Blue, Umbro, Centenary, Shirt, Kit, 1921, FAI
Stephen Kenny’s boys wore blue for their friendly win over Qatar at the Aviva Stadium. credit@UmbroIreland

It is that early heritage that Umbro references with this smart, classically cut shirt complete with a simple shamrock emblem we’d love to see more of on future Republic of Ireland jerseys.

The full kit is completed by white shorts and blue socks with green turnovers.

Republic of Ireland, Blue, St Patrick's Blue, Umbro, Centenary, Shirt, Kit, 1921, FAI
The full FAI centenary kit in all its glory

Altogether, the eye-catching strip works as a retro-inspired tribute to those early colours and shows that sometimes, when it comes to football shirts, less is more.

The solid blocks of colour looked great and seemed to inspire a performance from the Boys in Blue, with West Brom’s Callum Robinson helping himself to a hat-trick on the night in a 4-0 win over next year’s World Cup hosts.

Republic of Ireland, Blue, St Patrick's Blue, Umbro, Centenary, Shirt, Kit, 1921, FAI
West Brom striker Callum Robinson hit a hat-trick in the blue

This is very much in the same vein as those modern classic, Tailored by Umbro kits that have become something of a calling card for the double-diamond brand and weaves a tale of football past into a quite beautiful shirt.

Very special indeed.

No wonder it sold out soon after the final whistle in Dublin!

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