Bohemians have expanded their partnership with Dublin Bus, and the latest project launched by the pair has us feeling nostalgic here at Balls.
It's under a year since the marmite Bohs jersey based on the patterns seen on Dublin Bus seats was released, and the partnership between the two has grown and grown.
Dublin Bus' logo now adorns the front of the jerseys worn by Bohemians' womens' team, while the benches at Dalymount now resemble a cut-open 46a bus, in a nice touch with the cross-city bus route passing by the stadium.
The club have now launched the "Dalymount Dublin Bus Ball Carrier," which will be seen on matchdays at Dalymount for the foreseeable future.
It had the team here at Balls reminiscing to an icon from the past of Dublin transport - and it bears a fair visual resemblance.
Bohemians Dublin Bus partnership creates nostalgic "Dalymount ball carrier"
Akin to the mini cars seen at EURO 2020 and during this year's Six Nations, the "Dalymount Dublin Bus ball carrier" will present the match ball at the centre circle ahead of kick-off at Bohemians games for the foreseeable future.
The new Dalymount Dublin Bus ball carrier ⚽️🚍
It's first appearance will be tomorrow as our women's team take on Shels at 3pm and all games from then on 🔴⚫️
It will be expertly 'driven' to the centre circle by Dublin Bus driver Zoe Bailey. ✊
The wheels on the bus... pic.twitter.com/fLdoZyJqPL
— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) March 10, 2023
The design of the ball carrier echoes that of a Dublin Bus and, we have to say, it looks class.
The latest project from Bohemians and the capital's bus company had us harking back to the days of the Dublin Bus "City Imp" which was a staple of commuting around the city in the late 20th century.
"Imps" are remembered fondly as the means of completing short journeys around the suburbs of Dublin between the 1980s and 2000s, and their single decker, chunky look is very reminiscent of the design of Bohemians' new Dublin Bus sponsored ball carrier.
July 2003 - Dublin Bus, Phibsboro, Mercedes O814, Eurocoach, MV83, received this very eyecatching AOA for ‘Western Union Money Transfer’. Notice the ‘1800’ phone number on the side as self service on-line web service was only under development at the time. ©Pat Losty. #dublinbus pic.twitter.com/LK3ApxOn1P
— My DublinBus (@myDublinbus) January 29, 2019
The buses ranged in size, with the 83 being the first route to be commissioned an "Imp" bus - so-named after the model of Mercedes bus used on the routes.
April 1992 Ringsend’s MW8 in its first week in service on the route 83, College Green to Kimmage. The route 83 was the first ‘City Imp’ branded Dublin Bus route. #dublinbus #rathmines #cityimp © Pat Losty. pic.twitter.com/gMtMp2A20w
— My DublinBus (@myDublinbus) January 5, 2018
The small buses look hilarious by the standards of modern double-decker Dublin Buses, but it cannot be denied that they hold a special place in the heart of any Dubliners who grew up hopping from stop to stop aboard the "Imp" buses.
Whether intentional or not, the new Bohemians Ball Carrier has tickled more than a few memories of the Imp buses of yesteryear - perhaps its not too late for Dublin Bus to work a return of the Imps into their BusConnects plan.
Maybe that's a dream too far.