original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
The Season in brief
With most of the club professionals de-mobbed and back at Old Trafford, Busby relied upon the players that had graduated through the war time regional competitions. The average age of the side was just 27, with only Jack Warner and Jimmy Delaney were over 30
United were one of four sides that battled throughout the season for the title. Their challenge was effectively ended by a 1-0 defeat at Anfield on May 3rd (they had earlier beaten Liverpool 5-0 at Old Trafford). This defeat was the only defeat United suffered in their final twelve games. Five points in the final three games secured United the runners up spot behind the new Champions, Liverpool.
United retained their pre war home colours, albeit worn with a variety of different socks. The 'Tangeru' shirt became the default design,and can be easily identified by the large re-enforcement piece at base of the placket.
The change kit was also standardised, with a blue 'Tangeru' shirt, worn with white shorts.This kit was probably first worn in the game at the Valley against Charlton Athletic on September 7th 1946.
United's kits were manufactured by Umbro.
The side wore a variety of socks. Clothes rationing, which lasted in Britain until 1949, was probably the reason for these varieties. An early post war programme appealed for supporters to donate clothing ration coupons so we know the club struggled to kit out the various sides.
As well as the more common red/black hooped socks, we know that United wore red/white hooped socks on at least one occassion, against Wolves at Old Trafford in April 1947. Alex Howells has sent us a photo taken before either the home game against Brentford or the away game at Ewood Park in December 1946, that show United wearing the red/black hooped socks.
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.
Numbers were required to be stitched on the back of shirts for the first time in League games.