original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
Possible Change Kit
Possible Change Kit
The Season in brief
Newton Heath won the Lancashire Senior Cup for the first time, beating Blackburn Rovers at Goodison Park on March 26th 1898. Jimmy Collinson scored both of the goals in a 2-1 win. This triumph aside, it was a largely disappointing season. For the first time the 'Heathens' finished below neighbours Manchester City in the League table, despite taking three points from the 'derby' games. City finished third, a point ahead of their rivals, and also beat the 'Heathens' in both the Manchester and Healey Cups.
In November, after just two wins in their previous eight games, club captain Caesar Jenkyns and Bob Donaldson were suspended sine die. Harry Stafford was appointed captain and the two players sold. The loss of Harry Erentz and James McNaught, both poached by Southern League Tottenham Hotspur with the promise of 'ridiculous high terms', at the end of the season raised further doubts as to the direction in which the club were traveling.
There was no change to the white shirts and blue knickers for 1897/98. The club's registered colours are given as white and blue in the Association of Football Statistics annual covering the 1897/98 season. This information was confirmed by contributor Pete Wyatt. Team photographs from this season provide the evidence for the style of the home shirts.
There is less certainty of the club's change kit. A newspaper account of the pre-season practice game between 'Whites' and 'Stripes' in August 1897, uncovered by Charbel Boujaoude, suggests the change kit was a striped shirt. It is possible that this may have been the green/gold striped home shirts worn in 1893/94.
However, a match report from Newton Heath's game at Walsall in January 1899 describes the Heathen's change shirt as a "red and black combination". This shirt may have been borrowed for the game at Fellows Park, although equally it could have been the club's standard change kit.
Both kits are displayed as possible change kits. Our research is continuing.