What makes a classic Celtic home kit? Here’s when New Balance hit the spot

There are four bronze statues outside Celtic Park to commemorate some of the club’s most pivotal and celebrated figures throughout their trophy-laden history. The fact that three of these – Jock Stein, Billy McNeill and Jimmy Johnstone – were part of Celtic’s European triumph in 1967 illustrates the magnitude of that side’s ground-breaking achievements. Stein’s class of ‘67 were the first British and non-Latin side to win the European Cup, and became known ad infinitum as the Lisbon Lions.

Two days after the 50th anniversary of that unheralded victory, Celtic paid tribute to their greatest ever side by clinching an invincible treble against Aberdeen in the 2017 Scottish Cup final. Their kit manufacturers, New Balance, paid a further salute to the Lions with the modern classic design of the 2017/18 home kit.


The advertising campaign was billed, ‘Live the Legend’, and the outfit that was produced was a fine tribute to the iconic Lisbon side. The crest, manufacturer’s logo, as well as the front and rear sponsors were all printed on the jersey in gold. New Balance opted for a one-colour Celtic badge on the white hoop, which commemorated the 50th anniversary with the addition around the crest of: ‘Lisboa. 50º Aniversário. 25 de Maio de 1967’. In a change to the previous season’s jersey, the main sponsor, ‘Dafabet’, was spread over two hoops, although this did not appear too invasive due to the subtle use of gold. White shorts and socks (with gold trim) completed this simple, unspoilt design.

This ensemble was as close as any kit manufacturers could get to a classic Lisbonesque design – the crest, New Balance logo and sponsors are all necessary modern additions – but the large green numbers on the shorts of 1967 were conspicuous by their absence on the new effort.

The previous season’s ‘Invincibles’ kit was worn for the final time in Celtic’s annual charity fundraising match the day after the Scottish Cup final. Two teams of ex-Celts and celebrity fans contested a seven-goal thriller to a capacity Celtic Park crowd, with Henrik Larsson’s ‘Heroes’ defeating Lubo Moravcik’s ‘Legends’ by 5 goals to 2.




There was an inevitable feeling among Celtic supporters that the achievements of Brendan Rodgers’ side could not be emulated in the Irishman’s second season, such was the otherworldly nature of his debut performance. His maiden season had seen a domestic whitewash, where no other Scottish side could lay a glove on his unbeatable side. And, although the league-winning margin of 2016/17 was cut from 30 to 9 points by Aberdeen (with Celtic succumbing to four league defeats), remarkably, Rodgers became the first manager in the history of Scottish football to win back-to-back trebles – the ‘Double Treble’.

The second consecutive treble was won wearing one of Celtic’s most popular home strips. Interestingly, it was worn without a sponsor in the three pre-season fixtures against FC Blau-Weiss Linz, Rapid Vienna and Slavia Prague. As all the kit’s details were gold on white, which added an air of subtlety, this must rank as the closest a modern Celtic outfit has ever got to recreating the flawless green-and-white hoops of the Lisbon Lions.


1 Comment
  1. Just joined , I have to agree 100% , simplicity is the best when dealing with a Celtic top , though leaves designers in a muddle , which if rumors are to be believed , the new top with “ jagged “ hoops in my opinion looks horrendous.
    Also on the socks … just plain white … , but how can you make corporate profits with something so simple ?
    ( Rhetorical question )

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