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Another year, another Irish Cup final and another shirt. Glentoran unveiled the new kit for the 1988/89 season and beyond, in the final of the 1988 Irish Cup (the last competitive game of the season). Once again advertising restrictions prevented Smithwick's from using their logo for the match against Glenavon at Windsor. The game itself was a dreary affair with the deadlock only broken in the 90th minute when the Lurgan Blues defender Andy Russell was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area from a Billy Caskey header. Jim Clearly calmly put away the resultant spot kick as the Glens again won an Irish Cup late on. The goal completed a League and Cup double and maintained Cleary's record of scoring a penalty in every round of the competition. Two years later another version of this shirt was used again without sponsorship in the 1990 Irish Cup final. Played this time at a sun drenched Windsor on May 5th 1990 the Glens seemed to be facing an uphill struggle as both Gary Macartney and Raymond Campbell were forced to sit out the second half through injury. It was left to Glentoran right-back George Neill to open the scoring with a wonder strike on 59 minutes before substitutes Morrison and Douglas put the game beyond the Ports reach. It was only the third goal of Neill's long career.
With the shirt properly branded for the 1988/89 season, Glentoran had returned to a style last worn by Gibby McKenzie's side of the early 60's. This was a superb design incorporating a granddad collar, matching red sleeves and a diamond pattern watermark throughout the shirt. As you can see from the photo there was a variation in the colour of the Umbro logo. It would be worn with either black or white shorts during its two year tenure. Two years during which Glentoran would win two Irish Cups, two Ulster Cups, a Budweiser Cup, an Irish League Cup and a County Antrim Shield. It was also an era which would see Glentoran defeat cross town rivals Linfield seven times in one season, and play Spartak Moscow a stones throw from the Kremlin in the European Cup. Jim Cleary announced his untimely retirement from the local game before the commencement of the 1989/90 season.
Advert from 1989 Glentoran Gazette>>
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