My favourite United kit: third shirts
Last week saw the launch of ‘United Kit Revisited’ - a celebration of all that is great and good about Manchester United kits.
We’ve also encouraged you, the fans, to get in touch and share your memories and pictures of United jerseys from over the years, through our Memory Vault.
With everyone else detailing their most-loved kits, we thought we’d have a go, and our writers have selected which United third shirt is their favourite….
“Blue is a colour few associate with United, so imagine my surprise as a giddy youngster when my dad first showed me the VHS of our 1968 European Cup final win against Benfica. But over time, that rich, regal, deep, all-blue affair burned itself into my heart. It stands apart among United’s kits as a unique one-off, which is appropriate, because it was worn on the night that United were truly born anew after Munich. It also symbolises the club’s shape-shifting quality. We can wear any colour; integrate personnel of all creeds and castes; withstand any assault. The essence of Manchester United always remains somewhere just beyond definition.”
“You don’t see clubs releasing gold kits too often these days and, speaking in the year 2020, that’s a decision that makes complete sense. But as a child I virtually lived in this unique number, a centenary special which could be reversed to reveal that season’s more traditional white change jersey. With United on a run of three league titles in a row, this was a shirt which screamed regal splendour and it’s a crying shame it was only used on three occasions in competitive matches – a Champions League win at Olympiacos and defeats to eventual Double-winners Arsenal – as it’s unlike anything else we’ve ever come up with.”
“Much like music, football shirts always take you back to specific times in your life and conjure memories of particular players. When I look at our 2007/08 third kit, with that crisp white jersey, black inside trim and gold collar, I think immediately of Gerard Pique, Cristiano Ronaldo and Roma. The former wasn't a Red for long - just a few years - but his contribution was clear in the Champions League group stage that campaign, after scoring a headed opener during a 1-1 draw in Italy. Fast forward to the quarter-finals and the Catalan’s effort was trumped by an absurd header from Ronaldo, whose leap into the air for a Paul Scholes cross made me question my belief in physics. Maybe that third kit wasn’t all that special – it doesn’t leap off the screen at you – but its role in that unforgettable season makes me reflect on it fondly. If only it improved my own heading ability!”
“There are plenty of options when it comes to third kits, but the one that immediately jumped out to me was the clean blue number from the 2008/09 season (pictured at top of article). It was made in recognition of the 1968 European Cup-winning United jersey, and the design and font just oozed elegance and class. I think a lot of United fans - certainly those who grew up in the late '00s - will recall Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace against Arsenal in the Champions League semi-final. Two astonishing goals, scored by a genius in a beautiful kit - it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Get in touch and tell us which is your all-time favourite United shirt.