- As usual, we are indebted to United Kits for the information they have on their marvellous site
Most of the other entries in this series have centred around teams who have benefited from interchangeability, but this is an exception – instead, the finicky rules on logos adopted by Uefa provide the central plank of interest.
Having won the domestic double in 1993-94, Manchester United would come very close to matching that feat in 1994-95 only to fall just short, to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Carling Premiership and Everton in the FA Cup final. This was the Red Devils’ third season with Umbro since switching from adidas in 1992 and the popular home kit, worn for the previous two title wins, was replaced by a new design which featured a red collar and a graphic of Old Trafford across the body. It was a new departure in terms of kit design, displaying a particular image rather than a pattern.
As usual, black change shorts and white alternative socks were available, though the back-up sets didn’t have an opportunity to be used together as Manchester City had sky-blue socks rather than navy. The black change kit launched in 1993 remained in situ – the only difference being the addition of updated ‘Champions 1993-94’ sleeve patches – while the second half of the season saw the launch of a new blue and white third strip, to replace the yellow and green halved effort.
Said to feature the surname of every player to have played for the club, the front also had a representation of the crest used in the 1968 European Cup final. The away and third were in default format for all of their appearances in 1994-95 – the game at Southampton in 1993-94 was the only mashup for the black kit, with the 1992-93 blue away socks used, while the blue and white kit didn’t need any switching up.
Reflecting their status as Umbro’s club contract, United continued to have bespoke goalkeeper shirt designs. The new first-choice strip was a blue and green mix – team shorts and socks were used in the Coca-Cola Cup – and the white shirt to match the black away remained in the kitroom while there was a yellow and green affair launched with the third kit.
Each goalkeeper shirt was tied to its respective outfield kit and there were no instances of a forced change. The primary strip was able to be used against teams in royal blue and even when Barcelona visited Old Trafford in the Champions League and wore cyan, Peter Schmeichel didn’t have to wear an alternative.
However, in Europe, the shirts worn by the team did have to be altered. Obviously, there were no squad numbers and the players lined out 1-11 and there were different sleeve patches, but the aforementioned image of Old Trafford on the home kit was an issue.
Uefa had clamped down on the number of times a maker’s logo could appear – more on that here – and as the Umbro marque was picked out in the seats of one of the Stretford End, it had to be removed.
Similarly, the black change kit had to undergo surgery for its sole appearance in the Champions League, the 4-0 loss in Barcelona. With limits on sponsors’ sizes, the ‘Viewcam’ had to be dropped but also the repeating Umbro logos in the fabric were also removed. That motif had also been on the blue hems of the sleeves and shorts – the sleeves now had plain blue panels but the shorts were devoid of any decoration. Adding to the strangeness was the fact that the home socks were used, while goalkeeper Gary Walsh was able to wear the white shirt, despite the fact that there was no doubting what the blue and yellow shapes represented.
United exited the Champions League prior to the knockout stage, meaning that that game was the only outing for these variations. The only other deviation from the norms in the latter part of the season came in the FA Cup final against Everton – with both sides in white shorts and largely-black socks – as commemorative text was added above the crest.