Monday, 1 June 2009

1902-1903: Dawn of United

It had been nine years since Newton Heath had vacated the area which gave them their name, but still the club stuck with it, much to the annoyance of visiting teams and their travelling support, who would often find themselves several miles away on the wrong side of town come time for kick-off!

It was decided that with all the behind the scenes changes that had occured, it would be the right time to decide on a more appropriate name for the club. Suggestions apparently included Manchester Central and Manchester Celtic, but (at least according to legend) Louis Rocca, who had played for the reserves and served as the club's tea boy, hit on the name Manchester United and it was settled.

It is unknown, however, who decided on the change of colours. Although they had worn a combination of red and white before, this was to be the first time the club would wear solid red jerseys, white shorts and black socks as their first choice kits. The following year, the Manchester Evening News reported "new jerseys of bright red cashmere with red collar and white knickers and black stockings with blue tops”. We will therefore presume that the socks were the same colours in 1902:

Manchester United 1902-1903 Home kit

Change kits were blue and white striped shirts, white shorts and the same black socks as worn with the home kit:

Manchester United 1902-1905 Change kit

The squad line up during the 1902/03 season, with players in both first and second choice kits. Thanks and credit to Leslie Millman (manchesterunitedman1) for the original photograph:

Manchester United 1902-03 team photograph

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