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C'mon The Hoops
DetailIn 1903 changing the design of a football jersey must have been a simple decision. The sport was still relatively young, so the baggage of tradition would not have been a constraint. Indeed in the harsh and dirty industrial world of 1900s Glasgow the fans themselves would probably have cared little about such a trivial matter as a change of ‘uniform’.
So when Celtic switched from green and white vertical stripes to Hoops there was no apparent fan-fare or outpouring of criticism. Yet this simple and virtually unheralded change would give birth to one of football’s most distinctive and iconic shirts as the new hooped jersey would go on to form a massive and integral part of the Celtic identity.
Today the Hoops are instantly recognised as belonging to Celtic. While other clubs may also wear them, none come close to provoking that instant recognition with the design which the Bhoys do. Across the world green and white hoops equals Celtic. Despite imitators from Yeovil to Lisbon there are few, if any, other clubs in the world whose strip is so omnipresent in its identity.
But just what has made the Hoop shirt so famous around the world? It might be Celtic’s famed origins. Maybe it stands outs in a football world of dull and commonplace red and blue shirts. It could also be due to the club’s huge exiled support or the Bhoys’ many notable and proud achievements. Quite probably the answer is a combination of all these factors.
There is no doubting though that the bright, clean and striking design is something different. It stands out from the crowd. It lights up the cold, dark and damp Saturday afternoons of a Scottish winter.
It’s seems fitting that the men most fondly remembered for wearing it are maverick talents like Patsy Gallacher, Charlie Tully and Jimmy Johnstone. Men who were also capable of lighting up dull winter days. This type of player was born to play in the Hoops. I mean would a cheeky trick from Charlie or a jinking run from Jimmy appear quite as spectacular, as exciting, if the player had been wearing a dour blue shirt?
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