original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
The Season in brief
The committee made widespread changes to the playing staff after the disappointment of their first Alliance season. Five players made their débuts in the opening Alliance fixture in September 1890. James McMillen, first choice left back at Notts. County before his move to North Road, injured an ankle in only his second Alliance game. The committee acted swiftly to sign a replacement, bringing in John Clements, his understudy at County.
In the Alliance they were again let down by poor results away from home and an end of season collapse. In the top half of the table for most of the season, just one point from their final five games meant they finished 9th (of 12). The club reached its seventh consecutive Manchester Cup Final, losing 1-0 to Ardwick, who would be reformed in 1894 as Manchester City, They lost at Bootle in an F.A. Cup second qualifying round tie in which both teams agreed to field their reserve sides, and at Preston in a second round Lancashire Senior Cup tie.
The 'Heathens' continued to play in red and white quartered shirts, with navy blue knickerbockers, although the style of the shirt was changed. Evidence of the team's home kit is provided in an earlier team photograph, which we believe was taken in September 1890. The shirt has a collar for the first time, and is fastened by four buttons.
The tradition of repairing damaged or lost buttons with laces is likely to have still been popular with the players and club committee.
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.