With Manchester United having signed a record breaking ten-year £750m kit deal with Adidas, fans will be hoping the German company take inspiration from their previous tenure as United’s kit sponsors as they created some of the most memorable and iconic Manchester United shirts between 1980 and 1992.
The new deal will kick in from the 2015/16 season so Adidas have plenty of time to get designing the new shirt but with that in mind, here are five of the best shirt designs from 1980-1992.
1982 away shirt
United were treated to some fine kits during this era, even if the football wasn’t of the same quality.
This away shirt, with white as the main colour and Sharp emblazoned across the front, typified the style Adidas recreated across the years and was a popular design.
1984 home kit
The mid 80’s was an era in which United were something of a cup side and they made their mark in the FA Cup donning this classic shirt.
1984/85 was a good season for United who also finished fourth in the league and managed to get through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. It was perhaps the best kit of the Ron Atkinson era for it’s splendour of red, with a splash of black and white on the arms and collar.
1986 third kit
United have never looked so good in blue (apart from 1968).
Traditionally, third kits are aberrations which get very little notice from fans, as this year’s kit shows, but this particular kit deserved a lot of acclaim. Dark blue and with a mixture of red, white and black stripes, the shirt was United’s third kit for the beginning of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s tenure.
United did not enjoy any great success in this kit, but that was just around the corner…
1990 away kit
Perhaps the most important trophy of Sir Alex Ferguson‘s career came in 1990.
United were kitted out in the low key white and red away shirt which they wore in the game which was said to have saved Sir Alex’s job. Resplendent in white, United came out on top in a tough FA Cup third round game against Nottingham Forest, thanks to a goal from Mark Robins.
The rest, as they say, is history.
1991 European Cup winners cup shirt
Arguably the best Adidas kit of the lot, worn in Manchester United’s first European title winning season since 1968.
It was a magical era for United fans who had endured years of ignominy. In many ways, the shirt defined the journey both the fans and the team were on; the shirt is one of simple beauty and still leaves many reds longing for the magic of Rotterdam.