Bob Marley's son, Ky-Mani, says Bohemians kit is the 'dopest'

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Bohemians new kitImage source, WaR Dublin
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Irish football club Bohemians FC unveiled a Bob Marley-inspired away kit

It's the Bob Marley-emblazoned Irish football jersey dividing opinion across the globe and asking the question - could it be loved?

Well, a son of the reggae legend is getting up, standing up for the new away top of Dublin club Bohemians FC.

"This is the dopest shirt I've ever seen," Ky-Mani Marley has told BBC News NI. "I love it."

The newly-unveiled kit has made headlines around the world and inspired a slew of online parody versions.

The top pays tribute to Marley, who performed at the club's home stadium, Dalymount Park, in 1980.

There's been an exodus on the shirt with the club selling out its pre-orders but, no jersey no cry, the club are aiming to deliver a new batch for the second week of December.

Image source, Grant Lamos IV
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Ky-Wani loves the tribute to his late father Bob.

US magazine Sports Illustrated and leading Spanish newspaper Marca are among the outlets to cover the reggae-themed top.

Mark Moloney, a Bohemians season ticket holder and chairman of a supporters club, admitted he is "unsure" about the jersey but that "huge credit" needs to go to those who masterminded the creation.

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"It's definitely a masterstroke by the club from a PR perspective and it's got a massive amount of interest in the club, which is amazing," he said.

"We have some of the lads at the club who are not Bohemians fans and they have pre-ordered the kit."

When Bob came to Dalymount

Bob Marley and the Wailers' performance in Dalymount Park on 6 July 1980 would prove to be the superstar's last ever outdoor concert - he would die less than 12 months later from cancer.

Thousands of people crammed in the ground on Dublin's north side for the Uprising tour show - but, as it turned out, the reggae legend was concerned that concert goers would be priced out of tickets.

Pat Egan, who promoted many of Dalymount's biggest gigs, was sent a letter by a music promoter who said Marley was unhappy at ticket prices at bigger venues.

Image source, Bohemians Twitter
Image caption,
Bob Marley wanted to play at the football venue

The letter, from 26 May 1980, said: "Bob Marley is very concerned over the ticket prices for the shows on the European tour, in that he does not want them to be too high."

It added that Marley "cannot possibly agree to the ticket prices" mentioned for proposed gigs in Cork and the National Stadium.

"However, I would be prepared to consider your suggestion of a football ground as a venue," it read.

The letter is perhaps indicative of a music star whose main concern was getting people through the gates on what turned out to be his final tour.

Meanwhile, social media was quick to take inspiration from the Bob Marley kit in order to come up with some local variations.

Fellow Irish football club Sligo Rovers tweeted a shirt of their own for next season featuring Irish pop stars Westlife, three of whom come from Sligo.

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Finn Harps, meanwhile, paid tribute to County Donegal singer and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Daniel O'Donnell.

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Their neighbours in the north-west of the island, Derry City, also had their own Sound of the Underground effort thanks to Twitter user @brianbrianquinn, who envisioned Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle taking pride of place on the jersey.

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