© Copyright 2009 - 2011 playingfortheshirt.net All rights reserved.
Diadora, an Italian sportswear firm headed up in the UK by former Olympian Sebastian Coe took on the contract to manufacture the Glentoran jersey in 1994. Their arrival on Mersey Street coincided with the departure of the management partnership team of Robert Strain and Billy Caskey who had lasted less than a year. Their replacement was announced before the start of the new season as former Glentoran and Newcastle United player Tommy Cassidy. With Cassidy came this striking new design. Worn with black or white shorts it was nothing if not eye catching. Diadora moved to sign up Linfield, Ards, Bangor, Glenavon and Cliftonville as well. Although Glentoran won just a single Gold Cup in this shirt, Cassidy managed to (incredible as it may sound) avoid relegation from the First Division after an amazing run of results at the end of the 1994/95 campaign. A host of new players began to arrive at the Oval. Now both the team kit and the replica kit carried embossed badges.
For the first time ever, Glentoran were able to sell an away replica shirt to the fans. This simple jersey was an instant hit worn with white shorts and white or green socks. Wearing it, coming through the now revolving door at the Oval were Donal O'Brien, Declan Devine, Chris Walker, Eddie Cunnington, Roddy McDowell, Derek Martindale, Derek Swann, Trevor Smith, Derek Cook and James Quigley amongst others. Two huge talents stood out from all the new arrivals though. Glen Little and Liam Coyle both played in Cassidy's team. Both would leave a massive impact on the club but for different reasons. Little was a lanky 19 year-old Londoner who captivated Glentoran supporters as he single handedly disposed of opposing teams in a two season spell. Coyle was probably the most gifted player the Irish League had ever seen. Whilst Little went on to achieve Premiership status with Reading on the mainland, Coyle's relationship with Glentoran ebbed and flowed. Many felt confused and frustrated at the Derry man's decision to return to the Maiden City after only a very short stuttering spell at the Oval.