You could write a book on Manchester United’s away kits. Some 80s blue / white indecision sort of resolved itself in this monstrosity. Almost all the shirts seem iconic, either for United dominating English football, or showing brief moments of vulnerability, such as in their grey ‘invisible kit’.
But we should probably do something with the home kit, so let’s have a look at the cup winning shirt from 1982/83. The first thing to note is the sponsor, which is much more specific than later incarnations.
Manchester United, Adidas, 1982
Looking at the squad list, the first name to jump out is reserve goalkeeper Jeff Wealands who went on to become a legend at non-league Altrincham. Bafflingly, Wealands was kept out of the side by South African Gary Bailey who my dad once helped change a tyre. Apparently Bailey was ‘not very friendly’.
It was also the year when Norman Whiteside broke into the team. At the age of 17, Whiteside scored in against Liverpool in the League Cup, earning himself the nickname of the ‘Scourge of the Scousers’, and then he got one in the FA Cup as well. His career would go on to be wrecked by a knee injury. This was a theme for a squad with knee problems running through it, taking in names such as Paul McGrath and Steve Coppell. Coppell’s career didn’t last beyond 1983, his knee destroyed by a reckless challenge in a world cup qualifier against Hungary.