Getting shirty with a simple message: Give it a lash Trap
By Adrian Russell
Never mind Trap’s much-anticipated squad announcement on Monday.
I picked up my replica Euro ’88 jersey this weekend; the Euros start here.
They say clothes maketh the man and they have a lot to do with the quality of a tournament too. Memorable shirts like Peter Schmeichel’s Blockbusters-inspired patchwork of 1992 are scarred on the memory.
Michel Platini sashaying through the midfield in an understated but cool Les Bleus kit. Johann Cruyff turning delicately inside the brilliant orange and three stripes of Holland’s adidas creation. Eamon Dunphy sitting like the class clown in a kiss-me-quick baseball cap in the moments after Ireland’s penalty shoot-out win over Romania in Italy. Maurice Setters sweating inside a shell suit under the Orlando sun.
Style icons all.
Much as these events are soundtracked by scores of come-ye-all rallying calls in the pop charts, cobbled together by the singer-songwriters de jour as well as amateur musicians and football fans with access to YouTube, so too the clobber is different for those of us who won’t be directly involved in the tournament action next month.
If my memories of Italia ’90 and USA ’94 and repeated watching of Roddy Doyle’s The Van are anything to go by, we’ll all be wearing hastily-printed, inexpensive t-shirts with the dates and venues of the Irish games on the back, and a trite slogan on the front.
But where do these yokes come from, I’ve often wondered?
Step forward, Peter Murphy.
“I was just in the pub one night with my brother and we were just reminiscing, I suppose, about previous tournaments and all that and the craic that’s had by everybody,” the 29-year-old said this week.
“And we were looking at old photos and we had saw a few pictures of us all when we were younger in cheapy Jack Charlton t-shirts, you know. And every Joe Soap seemed to have one. So that was how the idea came about initially for the t-shirts.”
When Ireland play Bosnia in their farewell friendly before the training camp and then Poland, Murphy and his brother will be outside selling their wares.
But he says he’s not one of the usual hawkers you’d find around Jones’ Road and Ballsbridge before this.
“We got a 1,000 printed up — that’s as much as we have, we’ve never done anything like this before,” he says.
“I work for a travel company and my brother works in the bank — so it’s not something that we’ve ever done before and are new to the game. So 1,000 is what we have. We don’t know if we’re going to be getting more.
“We’re just trying to get out there as much as possible and get people aware of them.”
The t-shirts are what you might already have in mind. One has a signpost askew as it points Irish fans to Gdansk and Poznan and the other boasts the manager’s face emblazoned on the front with the slogan: ‘Give it a lash, Trap.’
On the back? The dates and venues for our three group games. It’s like being back in the ’90s.
“We’re getting great feedback,” explains Murphy, a web developer who returned recently from living in Toronto.
“Sales are going reasonably well. People think it’s funny, they like the design — they’re not tacky. I’d consider them trendy, they look nice, and the reaction is good, people can see the humour in the ‘give it a lash Trap’, harking back to the Charlton days. And they like them and the style of them.
“I’m 29. I can vaguely remember the Irish team coming in ’88 but Italia ’90 I remember, watching the matches at home and sitting behind the couch when they were taking the penos. I’m not going to Poland. After the last one in 2002 I had said to myself, ‘the next time they qualify, I’m going’. End of story.
“Now that had been the case up until this whole thing started, I had still intended on going but looking at the prices of the flights, if I went I think I’d be sorry if I missed out on the craic at home too you know. If you remember yourself, the buzz and the atmosphere was brilliant and hopefully it’ll be the same now. Great memories.”
As Trapattoni said in an advert that ran on the Lansdowne Road big screen during the last campaign: time to make some new ones.
* Check out www.euro2012tshirts.com
* Twitter: @adrianrussell firstname.lastname@example.org
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