Season 1960/61
original illustrations of the kits worn during the season

The Season in brief

The frailty of United's defence was exposed in the opening weeks of the season when United managed just two wins from the opening twelve fixtures. The side were twentieth in the table and faced a long battle against relegation.

Busby was fully aware of the need to strengthen the defence and had some success by converting Shay Brennan to right back and moving Bill Foulkes to centre half. He had tried unsuccessfully to bring in Ron Yeats (who would later captain Liverpool) and Ray Wilson (England's World Cup winning left back in 1966), before settling on Noel Cantwell, a £29,500 acquisition from West Ham.

Cantwell made his début in the 3-0 defeat at Cardiff, but the side then managed to remain unbeaten in eight games and climb up to eighth place. Included in the run was a sublime 5-1 'derby' win at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve.

Sheffield Wednesday again ended United's involvement in the F.A. Cup. The sides drew their fourth round tie 1-1 at Hillsborough, but United's defence capitulated in the replay. United's young keeper Ronnie Briggs had a nightmare, gifting Wednesday three of their four first half goals. Wednesday won the tie 7-2, which remains the heaviest defeat in the F.A. Cup suffered by United at Old Trafford.

United had a new rounded collar home shirt, which we know from the 'Evening Chronicle' match report was worn for the first time in the home game against Fulham on April 1st. Plain white socks, which were probably more visible in the increasing number of floodlit games, replaced the traditional black home socks.

The change kit shorts had a red flash, and was usually worn with plain white socks although there was a variant with red tops.

United's players were given the choice of either long or short sleeved shirts for both the home and change kits. The long-sleeved shirts, referred to as the 'winter kit', were first worn against Newcastle on October 22nd.

Athanasios Papathanasiou discovered United wore their 1959/60 short sleeved home shirts (without sleeve trim), white shorts and the white change socks (with red tops) in the friendly against Real Madrid in October. They wore long sleeved shirts in the friendly against Bayern Munich in November.

In the game against the Maltese League XI in May 1961, United wore the rounded collar home shirt with the white change socks (with red tops).

We know from the match report in the 'Evening News' of United's home game against Aston Villa, that Mike Pinner wore a sky blue jersey, which was probably his own, despite Villa playing in their light blue change kit.