The one-offs – Manchester City third kit, 1989-90

Manchester City fans have a lot of good kits upon which they can look back fondly, but this is not one of them.

In 1989-90, City’s first season back in the top flight, early away games saw them travel to face Coventry City and Wimbledon, with their maroon and white striped away kit worn. For the trip to Highbury to face Arsenal in the middle of October, they could have worn their home shirts, but there was a shorts-clash to deal with.

Sky blue shorts would be available later in the season, worn in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, but they were not to hand on this occasion. Opting against pairing the home shirt with the away shirts – a look they would wear at Arsenal the following season – City instead went for the quick fix of a yellow teamwear strip (with mismatching shirts and shorts) with the club crest and brother wordmark applied.


City lost 4-0 and rumour has it that club chairman Peter Swales saw to it that the kit was burned. How true that is, we don’t know, but it wasn’t worn again.

Incidentally, City would bring their tally of kits to four later in the season – with concerns over the striped away clashing with teams in white, a prototype version of the following season’s solid maroon change shirt, with a grandad collar like the striped kit, was used late in the campaign.


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