original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
The Season in brief
United's finances collapsed completely in the autumn of 1931. Their opening home game attracted just 3, 507, the lowest attendance for a United League game at Old Trafford. Admission prices had been reduced, although the League vetoed the Board's plan of a 6d. (2.5p) charge for the unemployed.
The club were saved from bankruptcy by James Gibson. He guaranteed the club's expenses from December 16 to January 9, before finally taking over on January 19th 1932. Gibson's vision was a United team of Mancunians, and within months had financed a new Colts team, playing in the Manchester League with Lal Hilditch as the first manager.
In the absence of a team manager, and with United twentieth and out of the F.A.Cup, Gibson appointed a three man player selection team. More than £13,000 was spent bringing in players before the March deadline as the club battled against a second successive relegation. Just one defeat in ten games from the end of January lifted the club to tenth. Although their form collapsed in the final month, they finished twelfth. The players were rewarded with an end of season trip to Bournemouth, paid for by Gibson.
Despite the club's appalling financial position they were able to unveil a new home kit for the start of the 1931/32 season - and of a thoroughly modern design! The red shirts had a rounded collar, trimmed in white and the black socks were given a red band at the top with two white hoops.
We have been able to determine that United's goalkeepers wore a heavy woolen green jersey.
Although we have been unable to discover any evidence from this season of United's goalkeeper change shirt, we believe, from earlier and later photographic evidence and given the limited colour options available under League regulayions, it was probably royal blue.