50 Years of Manchester United Home Kits from 1964 to 2014
For diehard football fans, eras are instantly identifiable and memories powerfully conjured by the sight of the kit their team was playing in at the same.
Manchester United fans don't need to see Eric Cantona's face in the picture above to recognise the halcyon time period his red shirt relates to.
The more successful the team are wearing it, the more iconic the shirt design. But there are also kits that stand on design alone—favourites of the fans for fashion reasons.
In this article, we take a look at 50 years of Manchester United home shirts.
The reference point for kits here was historicalkits.co.uk. All images bar one are supplied by Getty.
This classic United home strip, as modelled by the great Denis Law, was worn from 1963 right through until 1971 (with a couple of short-sleeved options produced along the way).
Black socks with red and white trim are the big change here, as United emerge from the Busby era.
And now we have a crest. Bobby Charlton models it here.
Crests on shorts make their debut in this 1975 Admiral strip, which was also worn for the start of the 1976-77 season.
This picture is from the 1977 FA Cup Final, between United and Liverpool. Martin Buchan sports the Admiral strip that now comes with their company crest on shorts and shirt.
The FA Cup text and trophy image obviously only appeared for that game at Wembley.
May 1979 and United are on the way to a painful FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal. This picture shows Steve Coppell in a strip that's almost identical to the last one.
The 1980s bring a kit deal with Adidas and stripes. United's shorts and shirt get the treatment, as modelled here by Martin Buchan, at Old Trafford in September, 1980.
Who predicted Laurie Cunningham would feature? Here he is wearing the 1982-83 United home strip, as we enter the era of sponsor names on shirts and thin stripes running through the red. United wore shirts minus their sponsor for the FA Cup Final that season.
The "electronics" is now gone from Sharp's branding. In this picture, new signing Bryan Robson exchanges pennants with a certain Diego Maradona, as United take on Barcelona.
White shoulder stripes are the latest twist, as United win an FA Cup but struggle domestically under Big Ron Atkinson. Norman Whiteside takes on model duties here against Liverpool.
The (Sir) Alex Ferguson era is now upon us. The white shoulder stripes were ditched, with the big statement being a white band around the black socks. Those with an eye for detail will also note the thin diagonal lines across the shirt.
This edition is modelled by waif-like winger Jesper Olsen.
Nothing major to report here. The white sock bands are gone, with the diagonal thin stripes on the shirt replaced by vertical ones. Gary Pallister showcases this one, in action against Liverpool's Peter Beardsley in the 1990 Charity Shield.
United were there by virtue of winning the 1990 FA Cup—Ferguson's first major trophy.
Adidas' final effort for United saw red and white trim on the shorts, with thin black lines coming away from an old-school round collar. In this picture, Bryan Robson runs at Sheffield Wednesday in the 1991 Rumbelows Cup Final.
United would lose that one, but some decent success was just around the corner.
A classic. Ryan Giggs models the strip that United wore to their first league triumph in 26 years. Designed by Umbro, it harked back to days gone by with the lace-up collar and is still a familiar sight at Old Trafford.
White collars were replaced by black for the 1994-95 season, with a larger club badge and black and red stripes on the shorts. Prolific success would follow.
The ever-menacing Roy Keane is seen here doing battle with Liverpool's Phil Babb.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, David Beckham, Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole and Ronny Johnsen model Umbro's 1997-98 home strip.
United fans won't forget this strip in a hurry. With white socks bucking the trend, this was worn for United's European adventures between 1997 and 2000, taking in that famous night in Barcelona.
Who put the ball in the Germans' net?
Dwight Yorke models United's league kit during the 1998-99 treble season.
An end of an era, as Sharp's sponsorship passes to Vodafone. Umbro's design is neat and no-nonsense, which makes Paul Scholes the ideal model.
Goodbye Umbro, hello Nike.
Gary Neville showcases the new black under-arm patch, which arrived for Nike's debut 2002-03 season shirt and was continued in the shorts.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney would prove rather good shirt sellers for United during the early Nike years.
This kit pulls in a swish on the left arm and has the white sock band halfway down.
Patrice Evra showcases the 2006-07 home kit, which featured white trim at the sleeves and AIG taking over as sponsor.
Carlos Tevez in action against Spurs, during the 2007-08 season. Nike went for the most simple of designs.
It was white socks again in Europe, as United marched to Champions League triumph against Chelsea in 2008.
A bold change arrived for the 2009-10 season, with Nike introducing a v-shaped band across the chest. Shorts were white with red trim, while socks were plain black.
Aon became United's kit sponsor for the 2010-11 season. Nike's design brought back a white collar, with black, white and red all featuring on the socks.
There was an old-school look to the socks in the 2011-12 Nike kit and also a tweak to the collar. Things remained fairly clean and classic.
The Ferguson era at United ended, all too predictably, with his team winning another title. The strip they wore to do it divided fans, however, with many not liking the tartan style design.
Robin van Persie models it here.
And so we arrive at present day. New signing Juan Mata models the 2013-14 home strip, designed by Nike and with Aon still in place at main sponsor.
The tartan background has gone, with the David Moyes era met by a clean design. A red stripe midway down the socks is the only small sign of revolution.