original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
'Tangeru' Home Kit
'Tangeru' Change Kit
Alternate Change Kit
Alternate Third Kit
The Season in brief
During the close season Old Trafford was given a major facelift. A new medical room was added, and the changing rooms refurbished. Roofing was added to the wing terraces of the main stand, which took the covered accommodation up to 40,000.
On the field, United initially struggled at the higher level. The average age of United's side was less than 26, young by the standards of the time, and consistency remained a problem. Five points from their final three fixtures lifted United to a final creditable position of 14th.
United's junior sides completed a clean sweep of trophies - the Reserves won the Central League; the Colts, with an average age of 17, won the Manchester League; and the newly formed MUJAC's the Chorlton Amateur League, scoring 223 goals!
United's home and change kits remained unchanged. As in the previous season, the players wore two distinct designs for the home kit. In all liklihood, the Umbro 'Tangeru' shirt would have been slowly replacing the eralier floppy collared shirts.
In the public practice matches at Old Trafford in August 1938, the Reserves wore the blue change kit in their game against the first team. This kit had been worn at Barnsley in the FA Cup the previous season. Contributor Alex Howells has discovered a photo from the away game at Highbury on April 15th 1939 that confirms United wore the blue change kit in that game. It is impossible to be certain because of the quality of the photograph, but it would seem the shirt was an Umbro manufactured 'Tangeru'. We can only assume this was the 'official' change kit.
Also in the public practice matches, one of the club's junior sides were described as 'Black/Whites', suggesting they wore the black/white hooped shirts. Although we have no specific photograph of United wearing the black and white hooped kit during the season, earlier and later photographic evidence suggests it remained available during 1938/39.
The programme for the game at the Valley on February 11th, lists United's colours as white shirts, with black shorts. This may have been an oversight, and the shirts were actually the black and white hoops, or it may be evidence of another kit.
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.