Man United Kit History: Behind The Red Devil’s Colour Change

January 25, 2020

For many years now Manchester United has been ranked as the most valuable football club in the world. According to the English newspaper The Independent, the team was worth 3.255 billion Euros as of 2018. This is the result of a global branding effort that has made their kit the most recognized globally. But did you know that the “Red Devils” once wore green and yellow uniforms? Or that a blue cord once adorned the white shirts of the Manchester United players?

Formed in 1878 as the Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon Department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, they played mainly against other departments and rail companies. Back then it was common for players to wear whatever they had, and players were distinguished by their caps, not their kits. Although there is a mention from The Sportman’s Yearbook from the 1879/80 season that has the team wearing a white shirt and a blue cord.

In 1980 they competed in their first recorded match wearing the railway company’s colors: green and gold. According to historians these shirts were made of cashmere. They wore those colors up until the 1887/88 season when they wore red for the first time, red and white to be exact.

In the 1893/94 season the relationship between the football team and the railway company was strained and perhaps as a last ditch effort to maintain this relationship the team wore the company’s colors once again, the kit for the season was a green and gold striped shirt.

The team struggled financially for almost a decade before being acquired by Captain Harry Stafford in 1902. Together with other investors they decided to change the team’s name to Manchester United. It was during this season that the Red Devils started wearing the solid red kit with white shorts and black socks that they are known for throughout the world.

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