original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
Home Kit 2
Home Kit 3
The Season in brief
The United team were growing old together and the club had little cash to invest in replacements. Harry Moger was the first to leave, retiring in May 1912. The Board accepted an offer of £1,200 for Harry Halse, although Blackburn's offer of £1,200 for Enoch West and City's bid of £1,500 for Charlie Roberts were both turned down.
The biggest surprise of the summer however, was Mangnall's decision to accept a substantial offer to manage Manchester City on August 20th 1912. J H Davies appointed his friend J J Bentley as Mangnall's replacement in late October, by which time United were wallowing in mid-table.
Bentley was a distinguished administrator, and under his guidance United lost just twice in twelve games between December and February, a run that included a 2-0 victory at Hyde Road over Mangnall's rejuvenated City side.
Unable to maintain this momentum, United still finished the season in a very creditable fourth place.
United's home kit remained unchanged, although the club's increasing financial worries led to players wearing differing styles of shirts and often using laces to repair damaged shirts. The familiar wide collared and high collared shirts can both be seen in a team photograph from January 1913, and we also believe players may have also worn the white trim home shirt seen during the previous season.
The two different sock designs worn in previous seasons continued to be used during 1912/13. We have assumed that there was not a replacement change kit, based on photographic evidence of both previous and future seasons.
A new FA rule that goalkeepers could only handle the ball within the penalty area (previously they had been allowed to handle anywhere within their own half) was introduced at the start of the season. The change effectively restricted 'keepers to their area and may have influenced the growing trend for heavy, woolen jerseys. Certainly Bob Beale, Moger's replacement between the sticks, preferred this style of shirt.
We believe United took advantage of another FA change that allowed 'keepers to wear Royal Green. Although the home shirt remained white, the change shirt was probably green.