Unprofessional Foul


June 16, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The WTF

Black and white stripes are a staple of clubs around Europe. It’s simple and easy to get right. But, if you try hard enough, it’s even easier to get wrong. St. Mirren proved this in 1987.

1987 was a year of upheaval for The Buddies. They had just come off their third (and to date, last) Scottish Cup win and were riding high. Expectations were astronomical. Those expectations were entirely unfounded. Twelve months after their win over Dundee United, The Saints had fired their gaffer and replaced him with their captain from the Cup Final, Tony Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick performed well enough to keep the team from relegation, but not much better. As quickly as they had risen to the top, St. Mirren were on the way back down again.

Not helping Saints’ fans moods was this shirt. Universally derided by both St. Mirren fans and their rivals, this effort became known as the “Bib Shirt” for the large field of white reserved for the sponsor’s logo. The manufacturer’s logo is up there as well, but you would hardly note that, as Matchwinner seem almost embarrassed by this effort and used a very light logo opposite the team’s badge.

The worst part of this shirt, of course, is the stripes. Unless the player stands stock still with his arm at his sides or signaling a field goal, the stripes run in three different directions. It’s hard to look at and must have been worse to wear. As new captain Billy Abercromby said, the player’s reaction was “one of laughter… until it dawned we would be wearing it”. Ouch.

Personally, I’m also no fan of the red stripes arond the sleeves and collar. It seems like a last ditch effort not to have just three disparate waves of stripes, but instead only highlights the different angles at which the stripes go. Nasty.

When it comes down to it, Buddies players of 1987-89 would probably have just liked a plain shirt, and, if they had to have a bib, perhaps would have used one of these instead:

Three pack for extra dribbling

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