Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Mystery Charlie Roberts Shirt

At the Manchester United Museum at Old Trafford is a display case of items collected by former club captain Charlie Roberts throughout his career.

One if the items is a blue shirt which is labeled as being an "early 1900s United shirt":

Charlie Roberts' shirt

There is no photographic or written evidence that United ever wore solid blue change shirts, however, at least not while Roberts was at the club.

The only shirt that bears any slight resemblance is the one in this photograph of Roberts at a Players Union gala match against Newcastle on 29th April 1908 at St James' Park:

Charlie Roberts at Players Union gala match, April 29, 1908

Charlie Roberts kit - Unkown

If anyone has any other information about this shirt, or photographs from the PU gala match, please let us know.

Also, as a point of interest, the label on the shirt bears the name of Alec Watson Sports Outfitters, Manchester:

Charlie Roberts' shirt detail

This company was based at 1 Newton Street and their label appeared on some other United shirts up until the ones worn in the 1957 FA Cup Final. The address is now the home of Empire Books and their sister company Empire Exchange, who have a fine selection of local football programmes and memorabilia in stock and which is well worth a rummage around if you are passing.

1 comment:

  1. Alec Watson and Mitchell also had a shop on Deansgate. My Grandad was the manager there from the late 40's through the 50's and into the 60's. They supplied all the kit to both United players and Lancashire Cricket club. As young kid I met Sir Matt Busby, Denis Violett, Denis Law and others when they called in to pick up their shirts. My Mum worked as a piece worker for the shop sewing the badges & insignia on the shirts before they were given to the players.