What makes an iconic Celtic home kit? Here’s when Nike created a classic in the 2010s

“This is the stuff of legend. At the age of just 18, Tony Watt takes his place in Celtic folklore. This is mind-blowing. This is Celtic two Barcelona nil. He has no fear…”

Those words will live forever in the minds of Celtic fans around the world, being the finest result in many supporters’ lives. Another fairytale chapter was written in the glorious history of this unique football club on 7 November 2012, when the unfancied champions of Scotland defeated the greatest club side in the world to celebrate the Glasgow underdog’s 125th birthday.

As the Green Brigade’s fan choreo turned Celtic Park into a green-and-white fortress to the backdrop of ‘Zadok The Priest‘, no one gave the home side a modicum of hope against a plethora of world-renowned modern-day icons, assembled for hundreds of millions, who hadn’t lost an away match in the Champions League for six years.


Tony Watt made his entrance on 72 minutes for Mikael Lustig with Celtic a goal up virtue of a rampaging Victor Wanyama header. Just eleven minutes later and a penetrative Fraser Forster clearance was completely misjudged by Xavi ten yards inside his own half. Watt’s movement and pace was electric as he timed his run to perfection, took one touch and bulleted his shot beyond the oncoming Victor Valdes.

The Spanish press christened goalkeeper Forster ‘La Gran Muralla’ after this encounter and the match-winning Watt demanded more worldwide column inches than Ballon d’Or, World Player, European Golden Boot-winning forward, Lionel Messi, who pulled back a late consolation for Barcelona.

The day before this monumental victory, the Hoops had celebrated their 125th anniversary and a silver / grey Celtic knot-work pattern was added around the four-leaf clover crest to mark the unbroken history of the club. This jersey, released by Nike at the start of the campaign, comprised of nine green hoops, which was more than the usual six or seven of the modern age. Significantly, Celtic were embarking on their first defence of the league title in a winning sequence that would subsequently threaten their own record of what has become affectionately known as ‘Nine-in-a-Row’.


The accompanying shorts were typically white (again with the red ‘T’ of sponsor, Tennent’s), but there was a significant change to the design of the socks. For the first time since the 1930s (and in keeping with the first set of hoops from 1903), Celtic wore black socks with their home kit, which were topped off with a green-and-white hoop. Although the black stockings made a rare appearance for the league opener against Aberdeen, they were quickly consigned to the kit hamper, to be replaced with the more familiar plain white variety.

Another notable difference of this kit was that the main Tennent’s logo was unusually placed under the Celtic crest in a much smaller and less-imposing way than normal, rather than appearing across the front of the chest. To keep the entire composition uncomplicated, the collar was a simple white round-neck. The overall design (particularly with the white socks) was undoubtedly one of Celtic’s most popular in recent years.


Leave a Reply