Strip Club–High Mileage Edition
I never had a dog in the Old Firm fight and would catch matches and highlights as I could. Players like Henrik Larsson, Stilian Petrov, Neil Lennon and Aiden McGeady stood out for the Hoops, while Barry Ferguson and Jörg Albertz and Claudio Reyna caught my attention when they played for the Rs.
Over the years interest in these teams faded and I was usually only reminded of their existence when they met the big boys or deep runs in European competitions. Hard to forget Celtic’s dramatic UEFA Cup Final against Porto in 2003. Rangers faced off against Manchester United in the Champions League a couple of times and lost to Zenit in the 2008 Europa League Final.
For the 12/13 season, with Rangers in crisis and demoted to the lower divisions, the Hoops winning the SPL was a foregone conclusion. The team that year featured Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster in goal, the dirty greek Georgios Samaras, Scott Brown, Emilio Izaguirre, Charlie Mulgrew, and the pace and composure of Gary Hooper, who scored 31 goals in all competitions.
Celtic reached the league summit by November and never looked back, but dreams of a domestic treble ended when St. Mirren stunned the Hoops in the Semis of the League Cup. However, the Bhoys got revenge in the Scottish Cup, knocking out St. Mirren in the Quarters on their way to defeating Hibs 3-0 in the Final.
Celtic’s European campaign began in August when they met HJK Helsinki in the Third Qualifying Round. A 4-1 aggregate win saw them move to the Play-Off Round against Helsingborg. The Bhoys saw off the Swedish champions, and the club was placed in a group with FC Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow. A famous win against the Blaugrana at Celtic Park saw the Hoops through to the Round of 16 where they were swept aside by Juventus.
When the jersey was released I instantly fell in love with it. The cross intrigued me and my research led to a great post from the Celtic wiki that summarizes the evolution of the club crest. I love that the logos of Nike and Tennant’s blend into the shirt and don’t distract from the badge. The club release of the kit noted:
Replicating the uniform worn by Celtic in their very first match against Rangers on May 28, 1888, the 125th anniversary kit features a white shirt with a black collar, backed with green and black shorts and green and black hooped socks.
The very first Celtic cross club crest has been redesigned for the 21st Century but maintains the unbreakable bond with the club’s origins and Irish heritage.
Don’t know if I will ever purchase the shirt but it’s definitely on the wish list. This is a home run from Nike, with a very classy design imbued with history.
Special thanks to the following sites:
- Who Ate All the Pies. Their post on the kit has some great close ups.
- Check out Historical Kits for the full evolution of the club shirt.