Derry City's stylish new 1980s retro shirt goes global

DERRY CITY fans across the globe have been getting excited with the club previewing a replica shirt from the 1986/87 season.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 6:02 pm
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 6:06 pm
Derry City has teamed up with Roots Retro to promote its new 1986/87 throwback.

The shirt went on sale for pre-order and has already proved a big hit with City fans at home and abroad.

The club has partnered with Roots Retro, a young UK brand with a focus on producing high quality retro items.

The first project is a replica of the shirt worn 35 years ago, in the 1986/1987 season.

The shirt evokes memories of Owen Da Gama and Alex Krstic and when the Red and White Army packed the Brandywell on a weekly basis.

It takes City fans back to a time when thousands travelled around Ireland and to that memorable first visit to Abberycarton in Longford as the club’s loyal fans lit up the League of Ireland First Division.

Whilst more than 30 years may have passed there is still warm nostalgia for the period, with City fans rushing to order the shirt when it was released.

The club has reported sales from as far afield as USA, Germany, Australia and New Zealand in the first week.

IN DEMAND . . . The new shirt has proven a hit across the world with fans from as far away as New Zealand and Australia placing orders.

Kevin McDaid of the club’s Merchandise Group is delighted with the product and their new partnership with Roots Retro.

“We have always had a plan to release retro items from when Derry first entered the League,” he said.

“However finding the right supplier that could deliver a quality product that we believed in was a challenge.

“A number of suppliers were able to produce great graphics but then the samples were not of sufficient quality.

Fans can make the new shirt their own or have a name of one of their former heroes like Da Gama or Krstic on the back.

“Working with the guys at Roots Retro has been a completely different experience. The relentless attention to detail on everything from cuff width to the type of stitching is really refreshing. I believe it really shows their laser focus on delivering a quality product for supporters.

“A lot of Derry fans got their first Derry shirt in those years and we have seen pictures of a lot of children’s shirts retrieved from attics this week. Whilst the support base may have got a fair bit older over the years, the memories are still very strong.

“As one fan tweeted: “Thank you for bringing back this top and all the memories that come with it. I’m 42 and feel like a child waiting for Santa”. I think that sums up what that period means to a lot of people.”

Callum Bates from Boston, Lincolnshire and Eric O’Neill from Limerick created Roots Retro having been drawn together by their ‘obsession’ for classic kit designs.

And they told the 'Journal’ how they’ve been ‘overwhelmed’ by the reaction and demand from Derry City fans worldwide.

“Sales of the shirt have gone exceptionally well and we’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction and feedback of the Derry fans,” said Mr Bates.

“Other than the UK and Ireland, we have seen orders come in from the USA, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

“The relationship came about after we produced our first retro football shirt for Boston United in December. We documented this journey on social media which led to Kevin McDaid from Derry City discovering us.

“We’re honestly delighted to be working with such an illustrious and historic football club. They have been excellent to work with, providing us with all the minor details we require when producing a remake.”

The shirt can be ordered in short or long sleeved, and supporters have the opportunity to customise this with a name and number. Will you add Da Gama or Doherty to yours?

Derry City members received a discount code for use against the shirt and it can be ordered via the Roots Retro website.