Historical Football Kits

 

Manchester City

Formed 1880

Elected to Division Two 1892

Kit History

 

 

Gorton

 

1884-1887

gorton fc 1884

1884 a

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Ardwick

 

1887-1894

ardwick fc 1887

1887 a

Corroboration needed
ardwick fc 1890

1890-1891 q

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ardwick fc 1892

1892-1893 j

 

 

Manchester City

 

1894

manchester city 1894

1894-1895 a q

manchester city 1895

1895-1896 p

manchester city 1898

1896-1899 q

manchester city fc 1899-1900

1899-1900 q

manchester city 1900

1900-1901 i

1903-circa1920 a f i

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1921-1933 a b c g q

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manchester city 1933

1933-1937 i

manchester city 1938

1937-1947 b q

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1947-1951 a

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manchester city 1954

1951-1955 j q s

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1955-1958 b f q

manchester city 1956

1958-1959 a b q

1959-1960 a

1960-1961 q r

1961-1962 a b k

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manchester city 1962-63

1962-1963 q

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manchester city 1964

1963-1966 a k q

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manchester city 1966

1966-1967

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1967-1968 a b f

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manchester city 1968

April 1968-1969 a b f

1969-1971 a i l

manchester city 1971

1971-Sept 1972 l m u

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manchester city 1972

Oct 1972-1974 d m o

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1974-1975 d

Umbro
manchester city 1975

1975-1976 d

kbg
Umbro
manchester city 1976

1976-1977 d m

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Umbro

1977-1978 d m

Umbro

1978-1981 d h

Umbro
manchester city 1981

1981-1982 d h

Umbro

1982-1983 d h k

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Umbro
manchester city 1983

1983-1984 h

kbg
Umbro

1984-1985 h

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1985-1987 d

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manchester city 1987

1987-1989 d

Umbro
manchester city 1989

1989-1991 d

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manchester city 1991

1991-1993 d

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Umbro

1993-1994 d

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manchester city 1994-95

1994-1995 v

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manchester city 1995

1995-1997 d

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manchester city 1997

1997-1999 d

Le Coq Sportif

1999-2001 d

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Le Coq Sportif
manchester city 2001

2001-2002 d

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Le Coq Sportif

2002-2003 d

Reebok
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2003-2004 b t

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Reebok
2004-06 Manchester City Kit

2004-2006 e t

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Reebok
2006-07 Manchester City Kit

2006-2007 e t

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Le Coq Sportif
2007-08 Manchester City Kit

2007-2008 e

Le Coq Sportif

10 Feb 2008

Munich memorial kit
Le Coq Sportif
manchester city 2008-09 home kit

2008-2009 e

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Umbro
manchester city 2009-10

2009-2010 e

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manchester city 2010-11 home kit

2010-2011 e

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manchester city fc 2011-12 home kit

2011-2012 e

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manchester city fc 2012-13 home kit

2012-2013 e

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Nike
manchester city 2013-14

2013-2014 e

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manchester city fc 2014-15 1st kit

2014-2015 e

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Background

manchester city 1884Manchester City are a world famous club with a devoted fan base. What is less well known is that the modern club owes its existence to a woman. In 1879 Arthur Connell was appointed curate of St Mark's church in the working class West Gorton district of Manchester. Like most of the rapidly growing industrial areas of the north and midlands, West Gorton had no social facilities apart from public houses. Arthur's young wife, Anna Connell, decided to form an association to encourage young working men to spend more of their time on physical pursuits and less of their wages on beer. Anna persisted in the face of initial indifference and over the summer the members formed a cricket team, which was so successful that in 1880 the members formed St. Mark's (West Gorton) FC.

gorton fc crest 1884The club became West Gorton in 1882 and then Gorton AFC in 1884. The Maltese cross worn on their black jerseys does not appear to have any particular significance: this was a rather popular motif at the time.

In 1887, they moved to Hyde Road, Manchester and became Ardwick FC. In 1891, Ardwick joined the Football Alliance and a year later were in the Football League when the Alliance was incorporated as Division Two. In 1894, the club became a limited company and adopted the rather less parochial name of Manchester City when they adopted Cambridge Blue and white as their colours.

In 1899, City won promotion to the First Division for the first time, spending three seasons in the top flight before dropping back down. A photograph from the following season shows the team wearing socks with contrasting tops and vertical stripes down the side of the calf, a unique design for the period. 1903 brought promotion and in 1904 the club won the FA Cup and finished as runners-up in Division One.

In 1901 the FA had introduced the infamous maximum wage rule and abolished bonuses. This gross restriction of trade was justified on the grounds that it prevented the top clubs monopolising the best players and was supported by middle-ranking clubs (whose wealthy owners would never have countenanced such interference in their own business affairs). City's brilliant winger, Billy Meredith, for example was now restricted to a maximum weekly wage of £4 compared to the £7 he had earned previously. Richard Sanders* has described the world of Edwardian football finance as one of smoke and mirrors, with ambitious clubs finding elaborate ways to flout the rules. In October 1904 the FA fined Manchester City £250 and closed their ground for two weeks over irregularities in the transfer of two players from Glossop. Under the pretext of an investigation into violence at Goodison and Villa Park, the FA dug further into City's affairs, unearthing hearsay evidence that Meredith had offered the Aston Villa captain £10 to throw a game. The hearings were held in secret and Meredith, with no right of appeal, was suspended without pay for 12 months and denied the benefit game he was due. Resentful at his treatment and lack of support from his employers, Meredith laid bare the whole system of illegal payments at City in the the press between February and June 1906. The FA threw the book at City, forcing them to sell off their team and imposing fines totaling £900 but stopped short of ordering them to disband.

Billy Meredith, was perhaps fortunate to find another club prepared to employ him and he signed for rivals Manchester United in January 1907 along with three other former City players. City did not recover until the 1930s while the first great United team was built around former City players.

manchester city fc crest fa cup finalsIn 1926 City lost to Bolton Wanderers in the Cup Final and were relegated to Division Two. In this match and in other FA Cup finals, City wore the Manchester coat of arms on their shirts.

City returned to the top flight in 1928 and reached another FA Cup final in 1933, going one better and winning the competition a year later. In 1937, City were crowned as League Champions, only to suffer relegation the following season.

After the Second World War, City's colours were described as "light blue" and, towards the end of the decade, "sky blue." There is no evidence to suggest that the shade of their shirts changed, however, merely that these terms were thought to be more modern. Their erratic progress continued: manchester city fc crest 1956 fa cup finalpromoted in 1947, relegated in 1950 and promoted once again in 1951. In 1955 they were beaten by Newcastle in the FA Cup final, returning to Wembley in 1956 this time to beat Birmingham City to win the FA Cup for the second time.

In 1963, City were back in Division Two. Under the inspired management team of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison, the side was rebuilt and for a brief, glorious period, outshone manchester city fc crest 1970their arch-rivals Manchester United. The Second Division Championship in 1966 was followed by the League title in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969 and both the European Cup Winners Cup and League Cup in 1970. A second League Cup was added in 1976.

manchester city fc crest 1972In 1970 a circular crest, which had been used on stationary throughout the previous decade, appeared on the team's shirts. The central shield, which was derived from the city coat of arms was replaced in 1972 by a new version with a Lancashire rose instead of the three diagonal stripes of the original.

manchester city fc crest 1976Between 1976 and 1981 the Manchester coat of arms was used before the 1972 crest was reinstated.

The 1980s brought relegation twice (1983, 1987) and promotion twice (1985, 1989) and manchester city crest 1981a return to the inconsistencies of the past.

The club celebrated its centenary in 1994-95 and a special crest was worn for that season only.

In 1994 former player, Francis Lee took control of the club from Peter Swales but what started out as a new era of optimism turned into disaster. Having manchester city centenary crest 1994-95invested heavily in the transfer market and in building the new £11m Kippax Stand, City were relegated from the Premier League to Nationwide Division One. Manager Alan Ball resigned and was replaced by Steve Coppell who also resigned after 32 days in the job. The club was in total disarray with accusations flying between the board, players, management and fans. In 1998, Francis Lee bowed to pressure and resigned to make way for a new board but despite a host of new signings by manager Joe Royle, City were relegated to Nationwide Division Two, the equivalent of the old Third Division.

manchester city fc crest 1997Because both versions of City's crest were based on the Manchester coat of arms it was not possible for the club to register copyright nor exploit image rights. To get round this problem a new crest was commissioned in 1997. The golden eagle featured in the city's coat of arms in the late 1950s (Manchester United wore an eagle crest in the 1958 FA Cup final). The ship is a reference to the Manchester Ship Canal while the three stripes represent Manchester's three rivers. The Latin motto Superbia in Proelio translates as "Pride in Battle." The stars are purely decorative.

City were expected to take the Division by storm in 1998-99 but their campaign proved a struggle and in the end they sneaked into the play-offs, meeting Gillingham at Wembley for a place in Nationwide Division One. City fell two goals behind but snatched an equaliser in the fourth minute of extra time before winning the match in a penalty shoot-out. The following season, City won automatic promotion on the last day of the season and returned to the Premiership wearing what the manufacturers described as "lazer blue" shirts. A year later, City were relegated yet again and Royle was sacked, the ninth management casualty in ten years.

Former England boss, Kevin Keegan was appointed manager. An inspirational leader who had been found wanting as a tactician in his previous job, Keegan led the Blues back to the Premiership with two games to spare in 2002. The following season, City finished in ninth place and finally left Maine Road, their home since 1922, to move into the brand new City of Manchester Stadium.

In 2007 the majority shareholding in Manchester City was acquired by UK Sports Investments Ltd, a company controlled by the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra. Upon achieving a 75% share, Thaksin re-registered the club as a private company; on later acquiring 90% of shares Thaksin bought out the remaining shareholders to become the sole owner of the club. When his assets were frozen by the Thai courts, pursuing charges of corruption against Thaksin and his wife, he was forced to sell the club to a consortium based in the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi United Group, in September 2008. They signaled their immediate intention to inject substantial funds into the club's transfer budget in order to attract world class players to the City of Manchester Stadium.

The injection of Arab cash allowed manager Roberto Mancini to build a side that finished in fourth place in 2010-11, qualifying for the Champions' League and won the FA Cup, beating Stoke 1-0, their first major trophy for 35 years. The naming rights to the club's stadium were sold to Etihad Airways in a deal reported to be worth over £10m a year for ten years: this is in addition to the £2.3m shirt sponsorship contract and led to suggestions that the club was attempting to evade the new UEFA Fair Play financial regulations.

In the final match of 2011-12, City needed to win to secure the Premier League title. Trailing at home to Queen's Park Rangers with 90 minutes gone, they scored twice in added time to pip Manchester United for the title, their first in 44 years.

The following season, City finished as runners up in the Premier League and were surprisingly beaten by Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final. Shortly afterwards, while on tour in the United States, the club's owners announced that they had entered into a partnership with the New York Yankees to buy the MLS franchise for a second soccer team in New York City.

At the end of the 2013-14 season City overtook Liverpool to clinch another title. They were, however, found to have breached UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations, which had now come into effect and were forced to agree to a complex set of sanctions that included a conditional £49m fine, a reduction in the number of players in their squad for European competition, a wage cap and restrictions on incoming transfers.

You are welcome to Contact Me with corrections and additions.

Sources

  • (a) Gary James - MCFC official historian
  • (b) empics
  • (c) The West Ham United Collection (2003)
  • (d) Sporting Heroes
  • (e) Manchester City Official Website
  • (f) Football Focus
  • (g) Bury FC - Images of Sport (Peter Cullen 1998)
  • (h) True Colours (John Devlin 2005)
  • (i) The Official Manchester City Hall of Fame (Gary James 2006)
  • (j) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
  • (k) Bjørn-Terje Nilssen
  • (k) Pete's Picture Palace
  • (l) Football League Review provided by Simon Monks
  • (m) Alick Milne
  • (n) Simon Monks
  • (o) Eamonn Monks
  • (p) Kjell Hanssen
  • (q) Keith Ellis
  • (r) Alex Howells
  • (*) Beastly Fury (Richard Sanders, Bantam Press 2009)
  • (s) Simon Monks
  • (t) Phil Bannerjee
  • (u) Anthony Sealey
  • (v) Oleg Baranov

Modern crests are the property of Manchester City FC.