When Nike unveiled Manchester United’s new kit at the start of the season it was not well received. Many questioned the need for the black ‘v’ that covered the chest and it was likened by some to a rugby top. United quickly came out claiming that the red kit ‘celebrates 100 years of Old Trafford and part of the design will reflect that which was worn by the Reds a century ago.’
It was not the first time United’s kits had caused a bit of a stir so join me as I run through some of United’s best, worst and most memorable kits from recent years.
1993-1994 Home shirt: With a bigger club badge and a watermark of Old Trafford on the shirt this one was quite popular. It will be remembered especially as the shirt a certain Mr. Cantona loved to wear with the collar up as the previous version’s collar was not as stiff and had to be laced up.
1993-1995 Away shirt: This black, blue and gold shirt was recently voted as United player’s favourite of all time. It is also steeped in history as it is the shirt Cantona wore when he kung fu kicked a fan that had abused him at Selhurst Park and was also the shirt United wore when they lost the title at West Ham.
1995-1996 Away shirt: Probably United’s most controversial kit ever. Popular amongst fans and amongst one of United’s best selling shirts ever the shirt was pulled when changed out of the kit at half time against Southampton after they went 3-0 nil down. Sir Alex Ferguson would claim the players were camouflaged into the fans!
1997-1999 Champions League kit: The shirt United wore on that fateful night in Barcelona. Initially it had one star over the badge but after their European triumph United re-released the shirt with 2 stars and ‘UEFA Champions League Winners 1999’ embroided into it.
1998-2000 Home shirt: Possibly one of the best United shirts ever and was the best selling replica shirt of all time. With its revolutionary zip up collar and large sized club crest it was a fitting shirt for the treble winning champions.
2002-2004 Home shirt: After 10 years of being sponsored by Umbro, United moved to Nike and their first collaboration did not disappoint with this classic red black and white strip.
2006-2007 Home shirt: A one year special edition shirt that was described by the club as having “1950’s retro style – a tribute to the success of the Busby Babes and their enduring influence”. It was a firm favourite of the fans and marked United’s first league win since 2003.
2007-2008 Away shirt: Another favourite of United fans as Nike produced their second black shirt. Only released for one year it had a patch with the words ‘The Red Devils’ sewn on the bottom left side.
2008 50th Anniversary of the Munich air disaster: Not for general sale this shirt was worn in a one off game against Man City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster. It replicated the kit that the ‘Busby Babes’ wore in the 50s and was free of all sponsors and logos as well as reverting to the traditional 1-11 numbering. Unfortunately United could not mark the occasion with a victory as they lost 2-1.