Season 1985/86
original illustrations of the kits worn during the season

The Season in brief

Hopes that the First Division crown would be returning to Old Trafford after an absence of seventeen seasons were high in November 1985. United had won thirteen of their opening fifteen games, including twelve consecutive victories to start the season, and led the Division.

Although they were the bookies favourites, injuries to key players Bryan Robson, Gordon Strachan and Gary Bailey exposed the lack of depth in the squad.

United managed just three wins in the following twelve and slipped to second after losing 2-1 at West Ham on February 2nd. They eventually finished fourth, ending the season with just five wins in their final seventeen games.

Even before the Championship race had been lost, Atkinson and the United board agreed to sell Mark Hughes to Barcelona at the end of the season for a new club record fee of £2.6m.

Hughes' replacement was Peter Davenport, signed from Nott'm Forest for £570,000, who managed a solitary goal in eleven appearances.

The latest batch of youngsters, who included Lee Martin, Russell Beardsmore and Tony Gill, reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, they were beaten 2-0 at Maine Road in front of over 18,000. It was City's first Youth Cup triumph.

United's three kits stayed largely unchanged from the previous season, although the change kit socks were redesigned.

Contributor Simon Kealy has confirmed that a new design for the shirt numbers was introduced. To avoid colour clashes the change black shorts were worn with the home shirt, and the home white shorts with the change shirt, on occasion.

Replica versions of these kits featured larger, embossed crests and adidas trefoil logos and were available with or without the embossed Sharp sponsors logos on the chest.