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Kerry X adidas: Bonus Information



Last week’s article detailing the history between Kerry and adidas was long (possibly one of the longest we’ve published in our 48-year history!) but there was still some info that I couldn’t quite fit in. Also, some more details have come to my attention since the article was published. So here, in no particular order, is some bonus information on Kerry’s famous green and gold jersey.



With the lack of external branding, it was difficult to tell whether or not Kerry were wearing adidas jerseys in the early eighties. But there was one significant clue on some of the shirts at the time: the number font. When Kerry wore that famous yellow and green design against Offaly in the 1981 final, the standard plain number font was replaced with very adidas-looking numbers comprised of three white stripes. The same font, which was also used by the German national team in ’81, was wheeled out again for the lime green change strip in 1982.

Although Kerry have predominantly used white numbers in recent decades, their visibility (or lack thereof) on the green and gold home jerseys has frequently been a major gripe as far as supporters and the media have been concerned. Kit-makers have tried to remedy this problem in a number of ways. Black numbers on large white rectangles were used intermittently throughout the forties, fifties and sixties and adidas reintroduced this style in 1984. In 1985, the white numbers returned and they have remained the standard style ever since, with some notable exceptions.

In 1995, Emerald Active Wear (adidas’ Irish licensee at the time) provided Kerry with jerseys that featured bold, retro, navy numbers with three-stripe detailing, similar to the ones used by Premier League clubs Liverpool and Newcastle at the time.

The Millfield jerseys of 1996 and 1997 kept the blocky numbers but when adidas returned in 1998, they replaced the navy with a shade of gold and brought back a rounder font. Even against an all-green reverse, the gold numbers were extremely hard to see and they were ditched for the All-Ireland semi-final against Kildare, with the retro, dark blue numbers making their return. When O’Neills came back on board in 2000, white numbers were reintroduced and they have been in use since.

When designing the 2018 jersey, Paul Galvin intentionally shifted the number higher up on the back so the white would be resting more on the green, therefore making it easier to see from a distance.


In 1992, Kerry Group’s blue, rectangular logo was placed across Kerry’s gold band and this branding, which features the now-famous ‘KERRY’ font with a gold underline, was also used in 1993 and 1994.

Although this was (and still is) Kerry Group’s official logo, it was felt at the time that the word ‘KERRY’ on its own was slightly jarring, so Kerry Group came up with a solution. They added the word ‘GROUP’ and placed it below ‘KERRY’, while also changing the font colour to dark blue and removing the blue background and the gold flashline. This new branding, which has been used ever since, only exists on Kerry jerseys.


[caption id="attachment_36515" align="aligncenter" width="628"] Stephen O'Brien in the 2018/19 shirt. The Kerry Group branding that features on Kerry jerseys only exists for this specific purpose. Pic: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.[/caption]




Kerry added ‘CIARRAí’ to the back of their Emerald Active Wear jerseys, just above the numbers, in 1995. Then county board chairman Seán Kelly believes The Kingdom were the first county to introduce this element to their shirt and he says the use of the Irish name was insisted upon by the county board. It subsequently became commonplace for counties to include their Irish names on the back of their jerseys.


In last week’s article, Tomás Ó Sé mentioned that the adidas gear they received in the late nineties was oversized. The baggy, soccer-style shorts were evidently not universally popular with some of the players as Maurice Fitzgerald, Séamus Moynihan, Mike McCarthy, Liam Hassett, Aodán MacGearailt and Billy O’Shea were all spotted wearing the old Millfield shorts during the 1999 season.


When Kerry’s motion to change the playing gear rule was defeated in April of 2000, the arrangement with adidas had to be scrapped. As the new deal with O’Neills was not yet finalised, Páidí Ó Sé’s men needed an emergency set of away jerseys for their National League semi-final against Meath on April 23. They took to the field in unbranded blue adidas jerseys (with the rectangular, blue Kerry Group logo) that were first used in the early nineties. Goalkeeper Declan O’Keeffe wore a white O’Neills Munster jersey from the Railway Cup.

Another unusual variation that didn’t really resemble the adidas or Millfield designs was worn in league matches against Louth and Antrim in late 1998. This jersey is a real mystery – if you have any information please get in touch on Twitter (@AdamMoynihan) or by email (



This factoid does not relate to a Kerry jersey, but it does relate to a Kerry man. Mick O’Dwyer, the legendary manager who was one of the driving forces behind the Kerry/adidas deal in the eighties, went on to manage Kildare between 1991 and 1994 and again between 1997 and 2002. Although Kildare were kitted out by O’Neills during both of his spells as bainisteoir, O’Dwyer remained loyal to adidas and was often seen wearing adidas tracksuit pants and sneakers on the sideline.

Unusually for a manager, he was also known to wear a replica of the team shirt during matches. One such occasion was the 2002 Leinster semi-final against Offaly at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny when O’Dwyer wore the official O’Neills Kildare jersey over his tracksuit jacket, with the shirt tucked into his pants. It was a distinctive look that was topped off by his headwear: a traditional tweed flat cap.

A closer look at the jersey itself reveals an interesting alteration. The O’Neills logo on the chest was covered up with a strip of white tape.


[caption id="attachment_36514" align="aligncenter" width="409"] Mick O'Dwyer's Kildare jersey with a mysterious strip of white tape covering the O'Neills logo. Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile.[/caption]


As O’Neills were the official kit suppliers at the time and their branding was visible on all Kildare clothing, including match gear, it’s hard to think of a reason why O’Dwyer would be required to block out their logo.

Croke Park forced him and his Kerry players to cover up their adidas branding for many years. Would it be too far-fetched to speculate that this was O’Dwyer’s “revenge”?

Or is there a simpler explanation? If you have a theory, please let us know.


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Séamus Moynihan tops Kerry manager poll ahead of Jack O’Connor and Peter Keane



by Adam Moynihan

Although it now appears as though he could be a selector on the Stephen Stack ticket, four-time All-Ireland winner Séamus Moynihan has topped our ‘Next Kerry Manager’ poll by collecting over one-third of the overall vote.

Around 37% of respondents said that Moynihan should be the next Kerry boss with 23% of fans backing former manager Jack O’Connor. The team’s most recent bainisteoir, Peter Keane, received 18% of the votes.

Another former manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, is next in line on 10%, although it is believed that he is not willing to return to the fold due to work commitments.

In addition to the four main candidates mentioned above, readers were also invited to nominate their own preferred candidate. This open field threw up 16 more names with former Kerry and Dr Crokes manager Pat O’Shea the most popular entry. The Killarney man received around 3.5% of the vote.

Donie Buckley got roughly half as many votes as O’Shea, and the other prospective managers ended up with less than 1% each.


Glenflesk native Moynihan enjoyed a glittering playing career for The Kingdom between 1992 and 2006, the highlight perhaps coming in the year 2000 when he captained his county to All-Ireland glory. He has since taken on coaching roles with his own club and with Fossa and was part of Darragh Ó Sé’s Kerry U21 management team in 2015.

It had been suggested that Monaghan’s defensive coach Donie Buckley would be part of the Moynihan ticket. Buckley was also a member of Peter Keane’s backroom team, but Keane relieved him of his duties in the early stages of the 2020 season.

However, after this survey was completed, Tony Leen of the Irish Examiner reported that Moynihan and Buckley are, indeed, part of the same ticket, but the manager’s name attached is that of current Killarney Legion boss Stephen Stack.

Stack himself had a long and distinguished playing career with The Kingdom and as a manager led Austin Stacks to the County Championship in 2014 and Legion to an East Kerry Championship in 2019.

The Listowel native is also rumoured to be calling on Dara Ó Cinnéide and Mickey Ned O’Sullivan as selectors, with Joe O’Connor filling the role of strength and conditioning coach.

Stack was not considered to be a realistic candidate at the time of the survey; he was one of the 14 managers who received less than 1% of the vote.


Q: Who should be the next manager of the Kerry senior football team?

Séamus Moynihan 36.7%

Jack O’Connor  23.4%

Peter Keane 18.1%

Eamonn Fitzmaurice 10%

Pat O’Shea 3.5%

Donie Buckley 1.6%

Others* 6.7%

(Carried out online on September 21/22. 431 respondents.)

*Mike Quirke, John Sugrue, Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin, Jerry O’Sullivan, Maurice Fitzgerald, Tomás Ó Sé, Johnny Crowley, Stephen Stack, Kieran Donaghy, John Evans, Paul Galvin, Marc Ó Sé, Liam Kearns.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]




By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.


Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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