Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Fermoy v Glen Rovers

From now until August 28, your votes will narrow down 32 contenders to crown a winner
Cork GAA Jersey Wars: Fermoy v Glen Rovers

Jersey Wars: Glen Rovers v Fermoy.

WE want to know what your favourite GAA geansaí is.

From here until the end of August, your votes will decide the best design in our Cork GAA Jersey Wars competition.

Our resident jersey expert Denis Hurley compiled a list of 32 clubs, based on those involved in the senior tiers and a selection of wild cards. We put them in alphabetical order and paired them up, number 16 versus 17, which is Fermoy-Glen Rovers, and mapped out the path to the final. 

Full details of the competition are here.

Voting will run from 8am each day for 24 hours on the link below:


Fermoy chairperson Brendan Keane informs us that, when the club represented Cork in the 1906 All-Ireland senior football final, an off-white jersey with a dark sash was the style used.

The club lost by a point to Dublin, who were represented by Ballymun Kickhams – 104 years later, Fermoy, managed by Peter ‘Franc’ Kelly, would also lose out by a point to Ballymun in the quarter-final of Celebrity Bainisteoir,

By the 1920s, the current colours of black and amber had been adopted. Initially, a black jersey with an amber hoop was the preferred choice, while the 1945 county SFC victory saw the team in black and amber hoops, like those of Na Piarsaigh or Avondhu.

The club dropped down the grades in the wake of that and were in junior football by the early 1970s, winning the county title in 1974 to return to intermediate, but they returned to junior after 1991.

They did challenge for divisional honours again almost immediately, coming out on top in 1993 and 1997, in tandem with strong challenges for the Avondhu junior hurling title, which was won in 1987, 1990, 1994 and 1999.

With the expansion of the county intermediate football grade for 2004, Fermoy were included having won the North Cork title the previous year, while they made the jump to intermediate hurling in 2009 after winning that county title.

At the time, jerseys were mainly amber with black trim and sponsored by Quinn Healthcare following the takeover of Bupa Ireland, which had a strong presence in Fermoy. In 2012, Quinn rebranded as Laya Healthcare and that coincided with a redesign of the Fermoy jerseys, with black returning as the dominant colour, though with a good dose of amber, too.

On the pitch, the good times continued to roll as the club won the 2014 intermediate hurling championship and followed that with the football equivalent a year later. Then, in 2016, they reached both premier intermediate finals but unfortunately lost to Bandon in the hurling and Kiskeam in the latter. As Kiskeam are also black, both teams had to change and Fermoy played in red and white jerseys – a tradition dating back to the 1950s when there was a separately affiliated hurling team and a set had been bought in Shaws at a reduced price.

The Fermoy U21 hurling team that captured a county title at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The Fermoy U21 hurling team that captured a county title at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Thankfully, the disappointment on the football side was short-lived as Fermoy made it back to the PIFC final in 2018 and beat St Michael’s to return to the senior grade. In 2019, a famous win over Castlehaven was recorded, though the redrawing of the championship grades meant they operated at senior A level in 2020 and will do so again for the coming year – when the Win A Gaff competition, jointly run with Douglas and St James’s of Ardfield, will be run, too (see


THERE are few sets of colours that are as unique and easily identifiable as those of Glen Rovers.

Apart from the English rugby union enthusiasts for whom Northampton Saints would spring to mind, the combination of green, black and gold is unmistakeably Glen. Of course, there is unfortunate circumstance linked with such an occurrence.

When the club formed in 1916, the colours chosen were green and gold hoops, the same as Blackrock, but black was added as a tribute to those who fell in the fight for freedom. In a 1954 article, the great GAA journalist John D Hickey identifies founder member Mick O’Connell as the man who made the suggestion, which was unanimously welcomed.

The club competed at junior before making the jump to intermediate after winning the 1924 county title and they romped through the second tier at the first attempt to secure senior status for 1926, remaining there ever since.

They soon became established as one of the foremost clubs in Cork, winning 24 county SHC titles up to and including 1976, while that victory was followed by their third Munster club championship and second All-Ireland.

That ’76 victory was notable because it came over Blackrock, who were always able to retain their green and gold hoops when the sides met by virtue of being the older club. Usually, the Glen donned the black and white of sister football club St Nicholas but in ’76 they wore gold jerseys, black shorts and green socks. By the time the clubs made it back in 1978, the ‘older club’ rule had been dispensed with and so Blackrock also had to change, wearing green jerseys with gold trim.

Gold jerseys remained the Glen’s back-up choice until the millennium and black shorts were sometimes used in games against the likes of northside rivals Na Piarsaigh. When the Glen met Blackrock in the 2013 county minor final, a jersey with thick green and black hoops was used while the following year the seniors wore a Kerry-style green with gold hoop but with black sleeves against Ballymartle. Then, in 2019, against Newtownshandrum, an all-black kit was used.

Glen Rovers' Andrew Evans soloing clear of Argideen Rangers' Paudie Butler. Picture Denis Minihane.
Glen Rovers' Andrew Evans soloing clear of Argideen Rangers' Paudie Butler. Picture Denis Minihane.

For 2020, the club entered into a new agreement with McKeever Sportswear and wanted to honour the centenary of the birth of Christy Ring on their new jerseys. A watermark of the great man was overlaid on the hoops and, when the Glen reached the county final against Blackrock and lost the toss for colours (both clubs’ alternatives were too similar), an all-black version was worn.

The Ring jerseys proved to be incredibly popular, with more than a thousand sold by the club, and they will continue to be used in 2021. While the Glen went without a shirt sponsor for almost a century, Blackwater Motors are now on board.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130


Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here


Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more