Retro Man Utd shirts through the years. Our Top 5 vintage Manchester United shirts and retro Man Utd kit
We cover some of the finest retro Manchester United shirts in recent memory, across a number of truly iconic vintage Man Utd shirts
It’s difficult to define the perfect retro Man Utd shirt. Without doubt, it must convey some gravitas and charm to be remembered by the average football fan, lest they be cast away into the pool of forgotten shirts. For a club like Manchester United, a memorable retro Manchester United shirt must relay the grandeur and history of the Red Devils, whilst importantly creating its own significance with the performances of the players that wore these iconic vintage Manchester United Shirts.
Here we review the five greatest retro Manchester United football shirts of the modern era.
1. Manchester United 2007-09 Home Shirt
This vintage Man Utd shirt will evoke great memories for United fans from the past few years, in spite of it’s fairly straightforward design. Despite being a conventional retro Man Utd kit with an all-red design, white shorts and black/white socks, Nike included a vertical white stripe on the back of the shirt to compliment the famous names and numbers on each classic Man Utd shirt.
Worn over two trophy-laden seasons, this 2007-09 retro Manchester United kit was emblematic of a dominant Manchester United side under Sir Alex Ferguson, adding two Premier League titles, one League Cup, one UEFA Champions League, two FA Community Shields and a FIFA Club World Cup to their trophy cabinet. United wore this classic Manchester United shirt in the famous penalty shootout victory over Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League Final.
Edwin van der Sar was United’s penalty saving hero, giving Cristiano Ronaldo a reprisal after United’s top goal scorer surprisingly missed his penalty. It was left to Nicolas Anelka and John Terry to feel the ignominy of a Champions League final missed penalty on a rainy night in Moscow, giving Man Utd their second Champions League triumph.
2. Manchester United 1998-2000 Home Shirt
One of three retro Manchester United kits on this list from the famed 1990s era of Premier League kits, which contributed to the nostalgia currently felt by many football fans for this decade. Umbro’s bold design signalled the end of a memorable period of classic Manchester United shirts.
The English kit manufacturer was synonymous with the shirts of the 90s, and they certainly nailed this one. The iconic ‘Sharp’ sponsor adorned this old Manchester United kit for the last time after spanning an 18-year spell, with a white collar and band of Umbro logos across the sleeves.
This was certainly a standout kit in the history of old Man Utd shirts. This classic football kit coincided with the most successful season in the history of Manchester United Football Club, with the Red Devils completing a historic treble thanks to some illustrious names, including David Beckham, Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all cementing their names in the history books as Man United legends.
3. Manchester United 1988-1990 Home Shirt
When talk of the greatest retro Man Utd shirts of all time inevitably arise, this late 80s number is usually at the top of the list. It has all the fundamentals of a vintage Manchester United shirt, with an essential ‘Sharp’ sponsor emblazoned across the front of the jersey, a timeless V-neck, and a hidden pattern of red pinstripes which highlights the quality of the top.
The enduring brilliance of the 1988-90 home shirt is evident, as it is fondly remembered despite two mid-table topflight finishes for a side managed by the fresh-faced Alex Ferguson, who was only allowed to continue as Manchester United boss after the Red Devils’ 1990 FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace. Undoubtedly the pinnacle of United’s time wearing this retro Manchester United shirt.
4. Manchester United 1990-92 Away Shirt
The only change strip to make this top five. United’s 1990-92 away shirt holds a special place in the view of many classic football shirt fanatics hearts. This predominantly blue vintage Man Utd shirt became a cult favourite, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular with retro football shirt collectors thanks to it’s daring sky blue design.
But this old Manchester United kit is also seen as polarizing amongst the most orthodox of Manchester United fans. Adidas’ extravagant shirt pattern was worn by a United side which contributed to the upturn in fortunes for the club in the 1990s, including the 1990-91 Cup Winners’ Cup campaign, as the Red Devils lifted their second ever European trophy in Rotterdam.
5. Manchester United 1992-94 Home Shirt
A simplistic design can often be the cornerstone of an epic vintage football kit. The Red Devils’ 1992-94 home kit was extremely impactful. It provided a link between two eras of shirt design, paying homage to the very first football strips with a classic lace-up collar, whilst also serving as a prelude to the pioneering vividity of 90s classic football shirts thanks to its bright red colour.
This shirt concurred with the transfer of United legend Eric Cantona to Old Trafford, who finished as United’s top scorer in the 1993-94 season, with 25 goals in all competitions, as the club completed a triumphant domestic double with the Premier League title and an eighth FA Cup victory.
Guest contributor Archie Willis. Editor at FUTBOLISTA magazine.
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- Lewis Davison