original illustrations of the kits worn during the seasons
'Tangeru' Home Kit
'Tangeru' Change Kit
United lost most of their playing kits when Old Trafford was bombed in March 1941. Purchasing replacements was made difficult by the introduction of clothes rationing in June, and the club relied on boorowed kits from local sides including neighbours City.
Unfortunately with only limited photographic evidence it is impossible to identify all of the kits worn by United in the regional war games. We have concentrated on United's own kits rather than those lent to them by other clubs.
The Season in brief
Matt Busby officially took over as United's new manager on October 1945, winning his first game in charge, 2-1 against Bolton Wanderers, on the 27th.
Busby steered United to fourth in the Football League North, with the club losing just seven of the thirty games played after his arrival. The F.A. Cup was revived but with two legged ties played on a home and away basis. Busby guided the club to the 4th round where they were beaten by Preston 3-2 on aggregate.
In February 1946 Busby paid Celtic £4,000 to bring Jimmy Delaney to the club. Allegedly injury prone, Delaney played almost two hundred games for the club before joining Aberdeen in November 1950. He was sold for £3,500. By the end of the season United's players were returning from the forces, and crowds were returning to pre war levels. A crowd of 62,144 watched United's 'home' game with City at Maine Road in April.
United's home and change kits remained essentially unchanged (but after several seasons would have begun to look less than pristine and the shirts would have been frequently repaired). A photograph from September 1945 shows United in their home kit - the white trim on the collar does not extend below the collar as in previous seasons.
We believe United would also have worn the 'Tangeru@ home and change shirts first introduced in 1937.
Although we have no specific photograph of United's change kit in 1945/46, whic was little used, earlier photographic evidence, together with the fact that clothing rationing continued after the War, suggests it would have remained unchanged. The programme from the public trials game lists the sides as Reds v Whites, which may suggest United also had a white shirt as a change kit.
For the first time, the outfield player's shirts were numbered 2-11.
Heavy woollen green jerseys had been adopted almost universally by League clubs as the standard goalkeeper's kit. The only differences were to the material (coarser or finer, largely depending upon a club's financial state), and the depth of the polo neck.