Exactly 30 years ago – December 15, 1990 – Manchester City hosted Tottenham Hotspur in a Football League Division 1 clash, a reversal of the opening day’s fixtures.
On that occasion, City had switched from sky-blue to their maroon second kit – it’s not always the case that sky and white clash, but if the blue is light enough, greater distinction is to be welcomed – and for their trip to Maine Road, Spurs planned to do likewise.
However, it turned out that the home side would need to find an alternative, too – due to a clash with the weather conditions. Martin Tyler was providing commentary on the live feed broadcast to countries around the world and, just before kick-off, he explained the situation.
Manchester City have switched from their traditional sky-blue shirts today. It’s been a foggy day in Manchester, the darker strip more visible, and our thanks to Manchester City for changing from their usual colours for our benefit.
The change While Paul Gascoigne put Tottenham ahead in the first half, City came back to win thanks to goals from Steve Redmond and Mark Ward. Bizarrely, it was the second time in six seasons that they had beaten Spurs at Maine Road while wearing their away shirts.
Back in August 1985, the weather again played a part, along with Spurs’ lack of alternatives.
The North London side had just entered into a deal with Hummel, who gave them an all-white home strip and an all-sky-blue change kit. It wouldn’t be until the introduction of a third kit for 1986-87 that they would have navy shorts to hand, so they elected to play in white-sky-white away to City, who were clad in the opposite.
However, just a few minutes into the game, referee George Courtney called a halt, with the shiny materials of the shirts making it difficult to tell the teams apart in the bright sunshine. The solution was for City to leave the field and return in their red-and-black-striped away shirts and shorts paired with the home socks.
As would be the case five years later, City won at home in their away colours. After Paul Simpson put them ahead, the lead was doubled late on courtesy of an own goal by Spurs’ Paul Miller and, while Miller pulled one back at the other end almost immediately, City held out.