When Dundee United opted for a better mix
- Thanks to DUFC Retro for their help
In the spring of 2009, Dundee United signed a kit deal with Just Sport Pro Club that would see them play in Nike teamwear, the arrangement lasting until the switch to Macron for 2019-20.
Having worn green when founded as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, the club switched to black and white at the same time as the name change to Dundee United in 1923 and those colours would be used in a variety of styles until 1969. Two years prior to that, the club competed as Dallas Tornado in the fledgling United Soccer Assocation and the were invited back in 1969 – Barbara Kerr, the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, was so taken with the burnt orange shirts that she suggested using something similar back home.
So it was that they switched to tangerine but the previous colourway remained a popular second choice, as seen in the adidas era, and it was a similar case for the first two seasons wearing Nike – white with black pinhoops in 2009-10 and a halved style, not unlike the 2005 anti-racism kits, in 2010-11. For 2011-12, the change kit also featured white and black but, presumably wanting to tie it together with the home strip, the shorts were tangerine.
It was a nice idea, but, as teamwear shirt designs are usually limited to two colours, the away shorts looked out of place and, due to a supporter backlash, the team never played in that kit as originally envisaged.
Having worn all-tangerine in the Europa League second qualifying round defeat to Polish side Śląsk Wrocław, United also appeared in that look for the opening league game at home to Kilmarnock on July 24. While the black shorts were used with the home shirt for the seven six matches, the home game with Inverness Caledonian Thistle on September 17 saw all-tangerine return and it would become the default choice for the remainder of the campaign.
Away to Aberdeen on October 15, the black/white shirts, black shorts and black socks appeared together and that was the look seen for the games against Motherwell at Fir Park, too. However, while the shorts weren’t mashed up again during the season, there was an odd combination used at Aberdeen on April 7, as the home tangerine socks appeared with the black/white shirts and black shorts, even though they had more potential for confusion with the hosts’ red than the black socks would have.
For 2012-12, traditional black shorts returned to the home strip, while an all-white away kit was used.