6 Amazing 1980s Adidas Ireland Prototype Shirts

Ireland will be getting a new kit manufacturer soon and many Irish fans would love a return to Adidas. Take a look at some of the German brand's designs for the Boys in Green in the 80s that never got released. Images courtesy of Jonathan Courtenay and Classic Football Shirts.

Unreleased Adidas Ireland Prototype Shirts

Adidas made kits for the Irish team from 1974 to 1976, then again from 1986 to 1994. Their second stint coincided with the greatest period in Irish football history, with every kit they produced in that era considered a classic amongst fans, aided by the fond memories of Euro 88, Italia 90 and USA 94. There is still huge demand for these kits today, as well as Adidas Ireland training wear, and their relative scarcity drives the prices up even more.

While it's hard enough to get your hands on an Ireland shirt from the late 80s or early 90s, you'd have to have some serious contacts to manage to add some of the prototypes below to your wardrobe. Owner of JACC Sports - whose Umbro kit contract was terminated by the FAI earlier this week - Jonathan Courtenay shared these images on twitter, showcasing some Ireland shirt designs that didn't make the cut. Check them out below.


This one would have been one of Ireland's greatest kits ever. Clean and simple Adidas design, beautifully proportionate cuffs and v neck, orange lining on the three stripes add some detail and the striped jacquard effect make it clear what era it's from.


White sleeves would have been a first on an Ireland home kit and to this day have never featured on a green Ireland shirt. If they do ever make their way onto one, they surely won't be as shiny as this. Three stripe detailing on the cuffs and collar is also a nice touch.


The sash is another element never to be seen on Ireland's home shirts, although it looks pretty smart here. We're not used to seeing so much orange colour blocking either, in a fairly intense shade too.


This prototype inverts the accent colours from the previous shirt. The orange sash's association with the Orange Order in Ireland means it would have been very controversial, to say the least. The FAI probably shot down this proposal very quickly.

5 and 6

You may have seen this one before and you surely recognise the design, applied here to both home and away jerseys. These kits were intended to be used by Ireland but the FAI rejected them on the grounds that the home strayed too far from tradition, and they were also allegedly unhappy that Adidas did not consult them before the launch and release.

With many shirts already having been produced before they were scrapped, Adidas stitched the older, non-trademarked crest onto the shirts and sold them as supporters' jerseys instead.

What do you think of these prototypes? If Ireland were to reunite with Adidas, could you see them dipping into their design archives for some ideas? Let us know in the comments.