Season 1980/81
original illustrations of the kits worn during the season

The Season in brief

United were unable to build upon the previous successful League campaign, and struggled to maintain a top six place for most of the season.

Garry Birtles joined from Nott'm Forest for a new club record fee of £1.25 million but in twenty five League appearances failed to find the back of the net. United drew eighteen of their League games, a new club record, and although they ended with seven consecutive wins Sexton was dismissed less than a week after the end of the season.

United had been beaten at Coventry in the League Cup and at Forest in the FA Cup, and in the first round of the UEFA Cup by Widzew Lodz on the away goals rule.

The collapse of Admiral forced United to hurriedly negiotiate a new kit supply contract with adidas. Their original shirts had stripes on the shoulders but by he start of the League season they continued down the length of the arms. United wore the original design in the Danny McGrain testimonial at Celtic Park. United wore Admiral socks until early September when they switched to adidas socks.

At the Dell in March 1981, United wore the blue Umbro third shirt from 1974/75. The United shirts also featured two distinct style of numbers, outline and solid styles. The original outline number was worn on the home shirts until early November 1980 when it was replaced with a more traditional solid number, although we believe it was retained on the change shirts throughout the season. A solid black number was used on the change kit on just one occasion, for the FA Cup tie at Nott'm. Forest.

The adidas replica shirts had printed club crests and manufacturers logos. Although they were slightly more durable than the earlier replicas, they were still prone to fading. The change shirt featured the same crest as the home shirt, unlike the players versions which had crests in different colours. Pristine examples of these replica kits are very rare. Modern reproduction versions sometimes seen on auction sites are made in the far-east and they usually feature over-sized embroidered crests and logos.

Can you help identify the kits worn by United in the following games: Leicester (a) 7/2/1981; and Nott'm Forest (h) 18/3/1981.