original illustrations of the kits worn during the season
The Season in brief
In March Busby asserted his authority by selling one of the club's most promising stars, Johnny Morris, after the player had complained about being left out of the side. Derby County paid £24,500 for him, and within days United paid a new club record fee of £18,000 for his replacement, John Downie from Bradford Park Avenue. Johnny Carey, United's post war Captain, was voted the Footballer Writers Player of The Year.
United finished as runners up for a third successive season, and again had their form in autumn to blame. They ended the season with four successive victories, the last of which was a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford against the new Champions Portsmouth.
United began the defence of the F.A. Cup in prolific mood, beating Bournemouth 6-0, Bradford 5-1 (after two 1-1 draws) and Yeovil 8-0. Hull City put up a sterner test in the quarter finals at Boothferry Park, only a Stan Pearson goal separating the sides. The semi final draw paired them against Wolves, managed by Stan Cullis and whose thoughts on football were the antithesis of Busby's. United lost 1-0 in a replay after a 1-1 draw. The game was the beginning of an intense rivalry between the two clubs which lasted throughout the 'fifties.
There was no dramatic change to United's home kit for 1948/49. A variant of United's home kit socks, which included a white stripe in the red band at the top, were introduced during the season. We have evidence that this style of sock was worn in March 1949, but may well have been worn earlier.
The club adopted the socks worn in the Cup Final as part of their change kit.
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.
We believe the change shirt, which was seldom used, would have been royal blue although the limitations of black and white photography make it impossible to accurately confirm the shirt's colour.