Guess which national side first started putting sponsors logos on replica kits?

David Moore of historicalkits.co.uk talks about the fascinating history of shirt sponsorship on Off The Ball

Mick McCarthy, Ireland, Jack Charlton, Opel

Mick McCarthy in the Opel kit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Earlier on tonight, Leeds and Ireland legend John Giles shared his thoughts on modern football's shirt sponsors.

A trend turning 40 years old in English football, we were joined by David Moore of historicalkits.co.uk on Off The Ball to talk us through the fascinating history of a part of the game that has become almost universally set in stone.

 

 

On the week of the 40th anniversary of shirt sponsorship in English football, we'll remember some of the classics on the...

Posted by Off The Ball on Thursday, 28 January 2016

Starting with ex-Northern Ireland international Derek Dougan and his introduction of a shirt sponsor at Kettering Town in the mid-70s, Moore described him as someone who was "ahead of his time" at a time when the Football Association were still opposed to it.

David Johnson of Liverpool with a Hitachi-sponsored jersey in 1980 (Picture by: Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

But it was Liverpool FC that really got the ball rolling when they signed a deal with Hitachi in 1979, although BBC rules meant alternate shirts had to be worn for televised games until 1983.

However, Moore also revealed one interesting fact of Irish interest, going all the way back to when the national team replica jerseys sported Opel sponsorship.

"The Irish national team started wearing, on the replica shirts, the Opel German car manufacturers logo in 1986 and they were the first national team to do this," he revealed.

"UEFA and FIFA don't allow national teams to wear sponsorship on their shirts."

On the motivation for Ireland's use of it on replica jerseys, he added: "Nobody else thought it was worth doing because if you can't wear these ... I mean how many games in a season does a national team play that isn't under the auspices of UEFA or FIFA? Actually the only games would be benefits, so I think Irish supporters are quite right to be cross about this because really when you buy a replica kit, you want it to look like what the guys on the field are wearing."