What would summertime in Ireland be without your favourite county jersey? Each year we reach back into the wardrobe, fish it out in the hope that "this year will be our year" and wear it with pride until the team get tonked by one of the big guns. No matter how many times you lose though, you just can't bate a bit of nostalgia, so we've compiled some of the very best GAA kits of all time.
What is simple is beautiful. There are no airs and graces about this one, with a simple yellow hoop running through it. Everything about it is fabulous: the collar, the GAA crest, the O'Neills logo, and even the Finches sponsorship fits really nicely. If the sleeves were a bit shorter, it would be a perfect jersey, but the 'Tiobraid Arainn' text is a nice touch.
Depending on your perspective, the two C's on either sleeve are either a clever addition or tacky. But we think it makes for a great design. Apparently, after the hurler's disastrous first round loss to Limerick in the Munster Senior Championship, the ends of the sleeves were altered slightly, with a red line added. The Barry's Tea sponsorship is clean and unobtrusive, as any good sponsor should be. The design was kept for another three seasons after Esat Digifone replaced the company on the shirt.
A true classic, you'll often see retro replicas of this jersey on The Hill as Dublin coast through the Leinster Championship. The pinstripes make it, while the largely white Dublin crest is iconic. One of the first GAA jersey that didn't double as a jumper, the angular collar is very stylish too.
This is a bit of a controversial inclusion, but between all of the vintage tops we thought this one deserved a pride of place for breaking the mould. Not only has it moved away from the gammy yellow chest/belly that blighted many an awful Wexford jersey in recent times, but the subtle dark lines running down the middle makes it look positively space-age. This will set a trend of creating GAA jerseys that are closer to the modern soccer jersey.
Nothing flashy about this one, but the away kit from the 1982 All-Ireland football final is better than a lot of Offaly's home efforts. Had it not been for Seamus Darby's winning goal late in the game, this jersey could have been a footnote in the story of Kerry's ruthless run of championships in the seventies and eighties. The Guaranteed Irish logo is subtly brilliant too. It's the little things.
Straightforward, yet elegant. Green and gold don't necessarily work together every time, but it did here better than any other design in the county's history. The giant GAA crest is a bit much, but very much of its time. The white collar and sleeves complement its overall look.
A suggestion from our own Mark Farrelly, it's the probably the most surprising inclusion of the lot. Even so, the sleeves are fun and the all-white torso has a nice effect. The classic O'Neill's collar from the early noughties should be compulsory for all GAA tops.
Dermot Earley #Roscommon prior to his last appearance for county in final of 1985 Connacht SFC at Dr Hyde Park #gaa #nostalgia pic.twitter.com/hJsGVocK2m
— GAA Nostalgia (@gaanostalgia) May 12, 2017
This is the one and only time the blue and yellow of the Rossies was done right. This year's version is an attempt to ape that design, and it does so pretty well. Once again pinstripes are a winner.
Such an underrated but magnificent jersey. The design was very much a template from O'Neills during that period, but it worked so well with the red and green on white. This top should hold some good memories for Mayo fans, as it was the same one worn when the minors beat Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-finals. And yes, they did lose the final.
Black and white is the ultimate combination, and the design really makes it pop. There's also a history behind this one, as Sligo had to change from a white kit to a black one for their qualifier clash with Kildare. They never went back after then.
A two-for-one special, as these classic jerseys faced off in the Leinster football final in 1987. The design is anachronistic and bizarre, but it's one of a kind in GAA history. Plus Mick Lyons looks like he's about to play a round of golf.
The iconic tangerine and white of Armagh really stands out in the lexicon of Gaelic games jerseys, and the 2004 version is the best of the lot. Never mind the shameless imitation of Nike's angular shoulders, the collar is very tidy and the sponsor blends very well into the design.
Limerick White Jersey 2017 What do you think? pic.twitter.com/HiOBzdF70J
— Mike O Riordan (@seclimgaa) October 13, 2016
There are a few Limerick jerseys that could have made this list, but their white away one for 2017 is just out of this world. Like the Wexford jersey this will be setting trends for future kits.
See Also: A Dying Breed - The 8 Best Characters In The GAA
And While You're At It: Name These Irish Sport Stars From The Irish Language Version Of Their Names