As well as the transfer window, the typical football fan gets through the summer months by looking forward to finding out what their side’s new kit is going to look like.
At no club is the hype surrounding a new strip so high as it is at Manchester United this summer. The Telegraph report that this year Louis van Gaal’s team will begin their record-breaking £750m deal with Adidas. To justify such a figure, you would imagine the manufacturers feel an immense amount of pressure to produce a kit that inspires fans to send last year’s edition to the back of the wardrobe.
Down the years, the Old Trafford club have seen their fair share of stunning and shocking strips alike. Here are some of those shirts that will bring back plenty of memories for all football fans (list via The Telegraph):
1984/85 Home Kit
This shirt will inevitably hold plenty of happy memories for United fans, as it was the one the team were wearing when they clinched their sixth FA Cup trophy, thanks to a stunning Norman Whiteside goal. However, the same final also saw the first red card in the showpiece event, as Kevin Moran was sent off late on for a challenge on Peter Reid. The main issue with the shirt is the odd stripes around the shoulders.
1990/91 Away Kit
The very bizarre blue and white offering would probably not sit well with supporters if it was to be unveiled this summer. The abstract pattern failed to inspire much success, although they did go on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup, but while wearing their third strip.
1992-94 Third Kit
The green and gold strip of 1992 was part of the trio of shirts that signalled a new era for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, and while it was not great, it was arguably not the worst kit they wore that year despite its inclusion on The Telegraph’s list. That honour should go to the away kit that was a shocking combination of blue and black, which – while the third kit was a nod to the club’s colours during their days as Newton Heath, and so is forgiveable – made no sense at all.
1993-95 Away Kit
With the green and gold still lurking as the third kit, the club launched an all-black strip that became synonymous with one particular incident in 1995, as Eric Cantona launched himself into the Selhurst Park crowd to kick one Crystal Palace supporter. The away kit’s second and final season would end poorly, too – more because of the Frenchman’s suspension than the shirt admittedly – as Blackburn Rovers ended the club’s dominance by winning the Premier League.
1995-96 Away Kit
Although the grey shirt was certainly not the worse down the years, it reserved its place in history in April 1996. At half-time during a game against Southampton, the team were forced to change their kit for the third strip as Ferguson felt the players couldn’t see each other properly at The Dell. They failed to win any of the matches in which they played in the grey shirt.
1996/98 Home Kit
The Telegraph list this shirt as one of the worst for the club, but it is difficult to understand why. It is certainly not the strangest home shirt they have worn down the years, and boasts one of the largest collars of any of their kits, which was perfect for the famous upturned style displayed by talisman Eric Cantona. His celebration following his delicious chip against Sunderland in his final season showcased the shirt in all its glory, as he turned slowly to receive the plaudits from all ends of the ground.
1998/99 Champions League Kit
Despite boasting a pretty nice home kit, United wore a slightly different red strip for their Champions League campaign. The most noticeable difference saw the badge surrounded by gold, as well as a star to acknowledge their European Cup win in 1968. It proved the perfect omen as United would seal the treble with a dramatic victory in the final against Bayern Munich.
2008 Anniversary Kit
In commemoration of the Munich Air Disaster, Manchester United wore an one-off kit similar to that worn by the Busby Babes in the 1950s. The strip got its one run-out during the Manchester derby, and unfortunately, it failed to inspire the side as their rivals left Old Trafford with all three points. However, its simplicity was a breath of fresh air in a world where sponsorship is playing an ever more prominent role.