Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Put Your Shirt on the Blues! ; Alice McKeegan Looks Back to Remember City's Kits of Yesteryear

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Put Your Shirt on the Blues! ; Alice McKeegan Looks Back to Remember City's Kits of Yesteryear

Article excerpt

CITY have always stuck to their traditional sky blue for their home shirt. Although they have remained the same colour, the styles haven't - with changing collars, badges and sponsors.

The new Blues home strip for next season - part of a reported Pounds 72m deal with Nike - boasts a retro look with its round neck and simple design.

But while their home kits have largely remained 'classic', the Blues have injected more variety into their away strips . In the 1960s, red and black striped away shirts were introduced. Assistant manager Malcolm Allison reportedly wanted to replicate the colours of AC Milan to inspire the team - and his vision paid off with the club winning the FA Cup in 1969 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970 in the kit.

They have revived the popular red and black away kit a number of times, most recently for the 2011-12 season after greats Neil Young, Mike Doyle and Malcolm Allison died.

Not all of their away kits have proved instant hits with the fans though.

The 1998-99 away kit was initially loathed by the majority of Blues fans - thanks to its electric colours. The black and fluorescent yellow-striped number eventually won a place in supporters' hearts - as City won the 1999 Division Two Play-off final wearing it.

Their third kit for the 2005-06 season also divided opinion because of its garish yellow shade and three seasons later they followed it with another eye-catching third option - this time in a loud orange.

Calming Denise Lambert, learning and communities officer at the National Football Museum in Manchester, said there is often science behind kit changes.

She said: "City obviously traditionally play in blue and that's a good colour for football teams - it is calming and it may help your team-mates to trust you more.

"Numbers on shirts started in 1920. Interestingly, in the 1933 FA Cup final between Everton and City, Everton wore numbers one to 11 and City wore 12 to 22. …

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