Season 1908/09
original illustrations of the kits worn during the season

Home Kit

The Season in brief

Injuries to key players hindered United's title defence, and other than Harold Halse, signed from Southend United, Mangnall made few additions to the side. Perhaps with an eye already on the cost of moving to Old Trafford the club allowed Bolton's scoring sensation Albert Shepherd to join Newcastle for a record fee of £1,650. He scored 76 goals in just over a hundred games for the Geordies.

In the FA Cup United had progressed to the semi final with few problems,; Mangnall increasingly saving his best players for this competition. In an epic tie between the two best sides in England, United managed a 1-0 win over Newcastle United, courtesy of a Harold Halse goal.

The Final played at the Crystal Palace on April 24th 1909, was hardly a classic. Sandy Turnbull, turning in a shot from Harold Halse that had rebounded off the bar, scored the only goal of the game.

The United party celebrated for two days in London before returning to Manchester and a heroes reception, just hours before facing Woolwich Arsenal in their final home game of the season. Not surprisingly United lost 4-1!

United retained both their home and change kits, with players continuing to wear both the all black socks and those with two white hoops (often in the same match as can be seen in photographs from the Charity Shield replay)

The replay of the Charity Shield meant United played just one practice game at Clayton before the season began. Originally advertised as Reds versus Stripes, the Reserves actually wore the white change kit. A crowd of 10,000 brought receipts of £106, which were donated to the Abram Piot Disaster Relief Fund.

In the League game at Ashton Gate on April 12th 1909 United wore a new change shirt - a plain white shirt with a red V on both the front and back, and worn with white shorts and both styles of black socks.

The kit had been presented to the club by George Robey, a famous music hall star of the time and friend to several of United's players, for the FA Cup Final. As both United and Bristol City, their Cup Final opponents, normally played in red, the clubs agreed they would both wear change colours for the Final. The shirt worn in the Final included a Lancashire rose on the left breast.

As in the previous season goalkeeper Harry Moger preferred to wear the outfield shirt but with a undershirt beneath. Photographic evidence from the public practice game suggests Tom Wilcox, the reserves 'keeper, wore a thick woollen polo-neck undershirt, whilst a squad photograph in the 'Penny Gazette' shows Herbert Broomfield wearing a white undershirt beneath the home shirt.