The iconic “Hoops” we supporters all know and cherish have not always been Celtic’s trademark. They were, in fact, pioneered by the old Edinburgh Hibernians, who were the original football standard-bearers of the Irish immigrant population of Scotland, until they became defunct in 1891.
Celtic subsequently adopted green and white hoops as their traditional home strip at the start of season 1903/04, since when it has prevailed in one version or another. Many variations on the theme have been tried; but as is invariably the case and as most fans would agree, simplicity is the key.
In the early years of European competition, before UEFA laid down the law and insisted on numbers on the back of jerseys, Celtic wore numbered shorts in order to preserve the integrity of the hallowed hoops.
Celtic’s original strip for the very first match on 28th May 1888, a friendly against Rangers reserves, was a white jersey with green trim and a red badge emblazoned with a green Celtic cross on the left breast.
For competitive matches in the early years of the club’s existence, the commonest outfit was a green and white striped shirt, sometimes imprinted with a harp to signify Irish origins and ancestry.
For as long as any supporter of the modern era can remember, though, the hoops have been synonymous with Celtic and are the club’s unmistakable trademark throughout the world.