original illustrations of all the kits worn during the season
Possible Kit with white knickerbockers
Possible Kit with navy knickerbockers
Possible Kit with black knickerbockers
The season in brief
A wave of Welsh players, no doubt enticed by employment with the LYR joined the club during the summer of 1881. One of the new recruits, E Thomas, was appointed club captain.
On October 22nd 1881 the 'Heathens' played West Gorton St. Mark's, the club that would eventually become Manchester City. The 'Heathens' won the game 3-0 (nothing changes!). The crowd was an estimated 3,000 - suggesting a perimeter fence and earth embankments for spectators had already been erected at North Road. The sides met again in March 1882, St. Mark's winning by the odd goal in three.
A measure of the sides progress is the 3-0 victories home and away against Manchester Arcadians, a 2-1 win at Southport and a fixture against the mighty Blackburn Olympic, whose Reserves beat Newton Heath 4-0 on their Hole-i'th'-Wall ground!
The 'Heathens' possiblly continued to wear green and gold quartered shirts although we have been unable to find any comtemporary references to the colours the club played in. If the earlier newspaper account proves to be credible, and alongside photographs from later in the decade, it is likely that the club retained their green and gold shirts during 1881/82.