Kit History of the Home Nations
In 1872 England played Scotland in the first ever international. Four years later Wales met Scotland and in 1879 the Welsh team played England for the first time. Ireland played their first ever international in February 1882, losing 13-0 to England. Shortly afterwards the four associations met and agreed to set up the British Home Championship, also known as the Home Internationals. Played between January and April of each year starting in 1884, the four teams met each other once on a round-robin basis and the side with most points (two for a win, one for a draw) was declared champions. If two or more teams finished level the title was shared. Fixtures were reversed in alternate years so teams played each other home and way over a two year cycle (although the title was decided annually).
In 1921 a dispute led to the formation of the breakaway FA of Ireland, based in Dublin. This became the FA of the Irish Free State (FAIFS) in 1922 when Ireland was partitioned. The Belfast based Irish FA continued to field a team in the British Championship while the four home nations boycotted the FAIFS. Each association claimed to represent the whole of the island of Ireland and picked players from both sides of the border (indeed some represented both teams) and in the late 1930s, both teams played as "Ireland."
In 1946 the home associations finally dropped their boycott. In 1950 FIFA intervened to define eligibility rules for players and determined that the two teams would play as Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. To confuse matters, however, the IFA's team continued to be called "Ireland" in the British Championship, which fell outside FIFA's remit.
Falling attendances, hooliganism and civil unrest in Northern Ireland as well as the rising importance of the World Cup and European Championships all contributed to a decline in the status of the competition. In 1981 the championships were abandoned due to the security situation in Belfast and three years later the British Championship was finally abandoned.