original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
The Season in brief
The relationship between the club and railway company came to an acrimonious end in May 1893 when the 'Heathens' were ejected from the North Road ground. A new ground at Bank Street in Clayton was rented in June 1893, and was ready in time for the new season. The club built two stands, one running the length of the pitch and the second behind the goal at the 'Bradford End' (West). Behind the opposite goal (the 'Clayton End') the embankment had been raised. Total capacity was likely to have been around 15,000 - similar to North Road.
The club brought in several players during the summer, most notably Joe Fall and Will Davidson. In spite of a much better start to the season by November the 'Heathens' were again in the bottom two. Defeat at Bolton Wanderers on December 9th left them bottom, where they remained for the rest of the season. Their relegation to the Second Division was confirmed after Liverpool inflicted a 2-0 defeat on them in the Test Match at Ewood Park. Renowned for their overtly aggressive play, even by the standards of the day, the 'Heathens' were unlikely to be missed.
The decision to return to green and gold colours appears to have been taken on the eve of the new season as the 'Athletic News Football Annual 1893/94' lists the club colours as red and white quartered shirts with blue shorts. It is confirmed in 'Red Dawn' (by Brian Belton; published by Pennant Books), and the striped shirts by a series of prints from the game against Wolves on November 11th 1893, and sent to us by contributor Alan Brennan. The Committee's decision may have been an attempt to retain their affiliation with the Newton Heath works following the move to Clayton. Railway workers provided the majority of support and, with the ties to the L&YR severed, the single most important source of income.