The shirt is the next collaboration with O’Neills Sportswear after the 2022 away shirt was released prior to Christmas.
The away shirt, with a sky blue design featuring a map of the city streets, has proved a huge hit with City supporters at home and abroad with over 1,000 away shirts sold since the new design went on sale.
The design of the new home shirt is a 25th anniversary tribute to last Derry City team to the Premier Division League title, Felix Healy’s champions of 1996/97 season.
The shirt features red and white stripes of varying widths, as well as thin black stripes. The stripes design is based on that worn the last time the club ruled Irish football in a memorable season in which Liam Coyle and Co. came close to the double. City eventually romped home 10 points clear in the League only to lose out in the FAI Cup Final to Shelbourne.
The shirt also seems a return to unbroken stripes on the back of the jersey, a move that is bound to be popular with supporters.
“We understand that some fans may wonder about the change in design from the classic red and white stripes,” stated a Derry City spokesperson, “Twenty-five years have passed since the club last won the League so it seemed a perfect opportunity to mark the achievements of that great side which also had a kit with irregular stripes.
“The 96/97 side is often overshadowed by the 88/89 Treble team and the side of the mid 2000s but the 96/97 squad was a mix of exciting local talent with Hutton, Hargan, Curran, Coyle and others, mixed with those who became cult heroes in the likes of Gary Beckett. We hope that fans appreciate the nod to the club’s history.”
City manager Ruaidhri Higgins is already a fan, stating: “I really like the thought process behind it. It’s important we don’t forget the history of this club and this jersey celebrates one of the most important seasons we’ve had as a club.”