original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
Change Kit 2/Third Kit
The Season in brief
United's early season form suggested the club would struggle to win promotion back into the top flight. Given £17,000 to strengthen the side, Duncan refused to pay more than his own conservative valuation for players. The decision to pay £3,000 for Bournemouth's teenager Jack Rowley and include him in the first team a day later, was probably Gibson's and not the managers.
Duncan, who had been offered the manager's position at Ipswich Town then in the Southern League, tended his resignation which was reluctantly accepted by the Board on November 9th. Walter Crickmer was again asked to stand in until a replacement could be found, the Board appointing Jimmy Porter as his assistant in December.
The side gradually climbed the table, securing the runners up spot on the final day of the season with a 2-0 win against Bury.
As part of the Gibson's modernisation reforms the Board had agreed, in June 1937, to a more thorough approach to training, coaching and match preparation.
In February, the idea of funding a junior club was first discussed. The benefits of Gibson's reforms were already evident; Stan Pearson and Johnny Carey had made their first team débuts, Sammy Lynn and Charlie Mitten were given their first professional contracts and in the Colts, Josh Sloan, Johnny Aston and John Anderson were attracting attention.
From team and press photographs, we are able to confirm that United wore the Umbro manufactured 'Tangeru' shirt. Originally designed for the 1933 FA Cup Final, the shirt had a large reinforced patch at the base of the placket, making it easily identifiable. It would appear from match photographs that United also continued to waer their previous style shirts.
Many thanks to Tony Sealey, who is researching the history of the kits worn by Tottenham Hotspur, for contacting us with information on the Tangeru shirt.
Iain McCartney has discovered that United wore black and white hooped shirts at Bramall Lane on February 17th 1938. This is confirmed in a match report from Sheffield's Daily Independant, which included a photograph of United in a kit they described as 'zebra-like'.
United wore a variant change kit, or third kit, of blue shirts with white shorts at the game in the FA Cup tie at Barnsley on January 22nd 1938. Under the rules of the competition, both teams had to change in the event of a colour clash. We can only presume United's change kit also clashed with Barnsley's.
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.