Historical Football Kits


Republic of Ireland


After the hiatus of the Second World War, the British associations rejoined FIFA and as a result recognised the team from the republic. Both the Belfast based Irish FA and the Dublin based FA of Ireland claimed to represent the interests of association football throughout Ireland and both teams were called "Ireland." FIFA intervened in 1950 to define eligibility rules for players and in 1953 decreed that the team from the south would be known as The Republic of Ireland while the IFA's team would become Northern Ireland.

Following additional work at Dalymount Park, crowds of 45,000 could be accomodated but the ground was neglected in subsequent years.


republic of ireland crest 1946 Ireland 1946-1953

republic of ireland 1946


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republic of ireland 1949


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Once the British FAs rejoined FIFA after the Second World War, their policy of ignoring the Irish Republic became unsustainable. In fact the first team to visit Ireland for an international after the war was England, an occasion sufficiently important that the Taoiseach, Eamonn de Valera, to arrange an official reception for the visitors. On 21 September 1949, Ireland met England for the return match at Goodison Park and won 2-0, the first time that England had been defeated by a "foreign" side on home soil.

During this period, players' numbers were worn for the first time in green on a large square white patch on the back of the shirt. The pre-war crest was slightly modifield with a scalloped top to the shield and featured four shamrock sprigs.

FIFA intervened after four players played for both the northern and southern Irish teams in the World Cup qualifying competition, ruling that eligibility would in future be based on the political border. The rules were later changed so that anyone born in Ireland with either an Irish or British passport could play for either the Republic or Northern Ireland but not both.

republic of ireland crest 1946 Republic of Ireland 1954-1959


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republic of ireland 1955


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In 1953 FIFA ruled that neither Irish national team could call themselves "Ireland". The Irish FA's team would be known as "Northern Ireland" (except in the British Nations Championship, which fell outside of FIFA's control) while the FA of Ireland side would be the "Republic of Ireland." Nevertheless, the FAI persisted in calling their team "Ireland" until the game with Luxembourg on March 7, 1954.

From 1955, modern lightweight shorts were introduced but the Irish team continued to play in long-sleeved shirts with rugby-style collars.

<Irish Free State 1921-1939 | Home Internationals Index Page | Republic of Ireland 1959-1978>