original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
Possible Change Kit
The Season in brief
As part of the 1887 Manchester Royal Jubilee Exhibition to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, Newton Heath were invited to play Bolton Wanderers in an exhibition game. The 'Heathens' 2-1 victory further enhanced their growing reputation.
Goalkeeper Tom Hay joined from Burslem Port Vale, and was probably the club's first professional. The Welsh contingent at North Road was enlarged by the arrival of Jack Owen, and his brother William, from Chirk.
The side reached their fourth consecutive Manchester Cup Final, winning the trophy for a second time with an emphatic 7-1 victory over Denton in front of 8,000.
They were also the unofficial 'railway champions' after completing the 'double' over Derby Midland, and beating Crewe Alexandra at North Road and gaining a creditable goal less draw away. Around 300 fans travelled on special trains for the game at Crewe, who were due to play in the F.A. Cup semi final a week later.
A new record crowd of around 10,000 paid to see the 1-1 draw with Preston North End. The 'Heathens' also drew 3-3 with Bolton Wanderers, and beat Wolves (2-1) and an Aston Villa XI (1-0).
Brian Landamore's discovery in the rule book for the Manchester and District Football Association for 1887-1888 that Newton Heath were playing in red and white provides us with contemporary evidence of the club's colours.
It is also likely that the club had settled on a standard colour for the players' knickerbockers, which later photographic evidence suggests was navy blue.
Although we have not found evidence of any 'Heathens' change kit from this period, it is likely to have been a plain white shirt if it existed. White jerseys remained the most popular choice as they were the cheapest to buy.