So here it is, our first look at the home shirt for the 2020-21 season, whenever that may start?
Well what do we think? On first impressions, it’s decent. It’s amber, which is always a good start, and there’s chevrons on the sleeves, which, as any football kit aficionado will tell you, are inherently cool. It’s also made with that fancy Hummel ‘Zero H2O’ technology which sounds hi-tech, and good for the environment, which is what we like to hear. So far so good.
Stripes then. We’ve got a bit of a complicated history with stripes haven’t we? Some clubs like Newcastle, Sunderland & AC Milan are associated with nothing but stripes, whereas we tend to come back to them every few seasons. We’ve seen a bit of success in striped kits, but also some fairly torrid times too. Going back to 1993 (because according to Sky football didn’t exist before the early 90’s) we had the Vandanel barcode kit. It’s not a bad shirt to be honest, although very 1990’s. The grandad collar is a nice touch, and who could forget Steve Butler and Carlo Corrazzin smashing them in wearing this number?
Unfortunately, the Football League decided to even up the divisions during our two seasons in this kit, relegating five teams from the Second Division for the first and only time so down we went. Still, it gave us these magnificent shorts to look at.
We didn’t have a striped shirt for a while after that, experimenting with quarters, amber with black flashes, all-amber, and amber with black sleeves in the seasons that followed until 2007 when stripes (and Vandanel) made a comeback with another pretty tasty kit. Butler and Corrazzin were distant memories, but Lee’s Boylan and McEvilly and Scott Rendell & Chris Holroyd were United’s goal-den hopes (sorry) in this period, firing us to Wembley in two successive seasons, although the less said about those games the better, eh?
The infamous sash kit followed, and a couple of forgettable all-amber efforts before our glorious return to the Football League was marked by a blinder of a kit from Puma. That 2014-15 season saw some great memories, from Josh Coulson’s goal on the opening day vs Plymouth to Tom Elliott *almost* scoring at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.
Puma continued with the stripe theme during the years that followed, a nice pin-stripe number was followed by one with a bold stripe down the middle, before they bowed out with a shocker of a shirt in 2018 with an odd effort that even Barry bloody Corr himself couldn’t make look good. Anyway, this years attempt is certainly one of the better ones, so lets hope whoever ends up wearing it next season plays some sexy football to do it justice.