Most likely unbeknownst to herself, recording artist M.I.A. caused quite a bit of a stir yesterday when an image from a recent photo shoot seemed to suggest that she was wearing Packie Bonner's jersey from USA 94.
The Irish Mirror were the first to spot the similarity between the musician's top which she wore at a photo shoot to promote London's Meltdown Festival and goalkeeping legend Packie's top from the 1994 World Cup.
— Meltdown 2017 (@meltdownfest) May 16, 2017
— Superb Footy Pics (@SuperbFootyPics) June 16, 2016
As you can see from the photos, the jersey is pretty much the same, save for the missing FAI logo. Bonner himself added fuel to the fire yesterday when he was on the Ray Darcy show and said that the jersey could indeed be one of his.
"I've a couple in the house. But I've also given lots away to charity, it might be doing the rounds, so who knows? It might be my jersey." Bonner told the host.
So is it the real deal? Was M.I.A. a big fan of Jackie's Army?
The good people over at Balls.ie seem to have gotten to the bottom of all this. As they point out, the goalkeeper top used by Bonner in USA 94 was a generic goalkeeper top that Adidas produced that was then adopted by the Republic of Ireland football team. It wasn't designed specifically for the them.
The lack of logo and number on the front of M.I.A's jersey indicates that it's not one of Bonner's and is instead just a generic teamwear goalkeeper jersey that she most likely picked up in a vintage clothing store.
It was a nice dream while it lasted.