original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
Home Kit 2
The Season in brief
United were pre season favourites for promotion. Ernest Mangnall restricted his summer purchases largely to 'prospects' rather than established players, although he strengthened the attack with the acquisitions of John Picken and Charlie Sagar. Together the pair managed 36 League goals, and Peddie chipped in with a further 16.
United dropped just fourteen of the 76 points that were available, which in any other season would have virtually guaranteed them the Championship. As it was United had to be content with the runners up spot.
United's season opened with a 5-1 thrashing of Bristol City at Bank Street. Bristol's next and only other defeat, came in February. They dropped just ten points and were worthy Champions.
Two other matches stand out from 1905/06. United's first trip to Stamford Bridge to play fellow promotion candidates Chelsea on Good Friday attracted 60,000 - a new League record attendance. The game ended 1-1.
Earlier, on February 24th, United had thumped First Division Aston Villa, the Cup holders, 5-1 in the F.A. Cup to reach the quarter finals for the first time since 1896/97. Despite a home draw they were narrowly beaten by Woolwich Arsenal.
We know from photographs taken before a game in September 1905 and from the Cup quarter final tie against Woolwich Arsena, that United's home kits remained unchanged, both the two and three-buttoned shirts were retained.
There is some doubts about the change kit, however. A photograph, taken prior to the final public practice match in August, appears to show the Reserves in a new all-white kit although contemporary match reports of both practice matches list the games as Reds v Stripes.
Gate receipts from the two games, which totalled around £130, went to two local charities, the Ancoats Hospital and the Manchester & Salford District Nurses' Institution.
The players continued to wear either black socks with a blue band at the top or plain black socks, often in the same match!
It also appears that United's goalkeepers wore a different shirt to their outfield team mates, although of course it was the same colour. Photographs suggest their jerseys were a heavier woolen shirt with a rolled collar.