Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland shirt outcry: Your designs flood in as petition demanding design change breaks 6,000 mark

Could you design a better shirt? Scroll down to submit your own

By Adrian Rutherford and Jonny Bell

Belfast Telegraph readers have responded in their droves to our request for an alternative design for the new Northern Ireland shirt which has sparked controversy as a fan's petition calling for it to be changed breaks the 6,000 mark.

Fans have been crying foul since the controversial shirt was unveiled on Monday.

They claim the £55 top features too much blue, with supporters particularly unhappy about a stripe across the front.

An online petition calling for a rethink hit its target of 5,000 responses in just 24 hours. it has since gone on to pass the 6,000 mark.


Ian McKinney, who set up the page, said the Irish FA must listen to fans.

"I thought we would have done well to get 1,000 signatures - it just goes to show how widespread the anger is," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"This isn't just a few fans giving off - everybody hates it."

The petition is titled "Get Northern Ireland a proper kit for Euro 2016!"

It was created after the jersey - which will be worn at next summer's tournament - was revealed on Monday.

The IFA said the shirt was "designed to create impact on the pitch next summer".

It has insisted the design will not be changed.

Mr McKinney, who is originally from Banbridge, said he would not be buying the shirt.

"There is a group of 12 of us who go to matches, and not one of us will buy it," he said.

"All 12 of us were going to buy it. In fact I had planned to buy two - one to wear and one to keep, but I won't be buying it at all. If you repeat that among the thousands of fans, it could end up costing the IFA."

Mr McKinney has suggested keeping the current shirt for friendlies, but issuing a more traditional green and white kit for Euro 2016.

"We seem to be stuck with this shirt, but can we not do something different for the finals?" he said.

"That way Adidas don't lose money and the Irish FA don't get criticised for selling a shirt that no one wants.

"Meanwhile, the fans can wear something that fits our identity and reflects Northern Ireland in a way that this shirt doesn't."

Mr McKinney said previous shirts had divided opinion, but not to this extent.

"This is different - this is our first finals for 30 years and fans want something special to keep and look back on in 20 years' time."

Other supporters voiced their displeasure on the petition site.

Coleraine-based fan Colin Finlay wrote: "As a block-booker for over 10 years and a frequent attender to away games, I'm signing this petition because I think the new Northern Ireland home shirt is horrendous."

Jonny Blair, from Bangor, said: "It is the worst I have ever seen. We have been waiting 30 years to qualify for a tournament and we get this."

And Paul Bennett posted: "I wanted a top in our traditional green and white that I could wear to France and then become a treasured possession afterwards. This looks like a bad training top. Won't be buying this."

A second 'away' shirt is due to be revealed tomorrow, with IFA sources indicating it will be a more traditional white design.

The jerseys were designed by sports manufacturer Adidas after consultation with the IFA.

Read more:

What were they thinking?

City Hall party for Michael O'Neill's Euro 2016 heroes  

Sorry folks, the new Northern Ireland shirt for France is here to stay 

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