Football kits used to be purely functional things. Pick a block colour shirt, some shorts, some socks, check the other team isn’t wearing an item that’s the same and – yep – we’re good to go lads. Get that pig’s bladder into play and let’s get cracking trying to put it in the onion bag.
But now it’s a multi-million-pound business that’s, literally, sometimes more important than the game itself; witness the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo being signed, partially at least, on the strength of how many replica shirts they’ll sell (although, to be fair, those lads could play a bit too). And, of course, where you used to have a home and away strip which would get an update only when the kit man would report back to say that it’s starting to fade in the wash, now you’ve got home, away, third, cup specials and all the rest of it.
Thus, the announcement of a new kit is a seriously big deal these days, with fans obsessing over the possible details and rumour sites springing up all over the web speculating about what type of ‘wicking technology’ the new shirt will have. Often, fake versions will be ‘leaked’ ahead of the announcement that are made up with a bit of photoshopping and a highly active imagination.
And the latter is what Manchester United fans everywhere will be hoping is the case with this latest example, the proposed new third kit for the team which has been going round the internet:
Good grief, that’s really pretty terrible isn’t it? Not only is the kit in grey – a colour we thought had been banished from the premises ever since the team famously changed out of their grey kits at half time during a game against Southampton in 1996 when they were 3-0 down and Fergie claimed that players couldn’t see each other – and we all know Fergie was famously reluctant to use excuses for bad results. It also looks exactly like this description:
This image follows two that were previously ‘leaked’ back in January:
To be fair, if – and it’s a very big if – the kit is real, the graphic is at least a nice nod to the statue of the ‘Holy Trinity’ – Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best – that stands outside Old Trafford.
On the question of whether it is real – well, the stitching around the badge looks decidedly ropey, while the adidas logo appears to be too central. On the other hand, the club did launch a competition for fans to design and then vote for their new kit, so perhaps this is the winning effort, although ultimately the club was always going to have the final say, so it would be somewhat surprising if they’ve opted for this.
If it does end up getting made, will it make it into the worst kits of all time? Take a look at our top 50 worst and decide for yourself.