Ranking Man Utd’s 10 Best Away Kits of All Time

Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United have often worn blue away kits | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester United are known the world over for their red shirts, white shorts and black socks, with many iconic versions of that colour combination worn over the years.

But away from home, United have equally had plenty of excellent kits to wear, often in white, blue or black – best not to mention grey…

Here’s a look at the 10 best United change kits (away and third) of all time.

10. Europa League Winners (2016/17)

Paul Pogba
United wore a blue kit in the 2017 Europa League final | Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

In 2016/17, United became one of only a handful of clubs to have completed the full set of major continental trophies when they won the Europa League. Given that the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup became defunct in 1998, it is a truly rare feat.

In doing so in the final against Ajax, the team wore a blue away jersey with a patterned design that was among the earliest of the current trend that is sweeping football shirt design today.

Aside from European success and looking good, the shirt holds more special significance because it was also what Wayne Rooney was wearing when he scored his record breaking 250th United goal.

9. Midnight Gingham (2013/14)

Patrice Evra
FC Bayern Muenchen v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Round Quarter Final | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Kits are often more fondly remembered if they are associated with success on the pitch. Some might therefore consider the attractive kits United wore both home and away in the 2013/14 season to be tainted, with a worst league finish since 1989/90 and failure to qualify for European competition.

But it would be harsh to discount the midnight navy gingham away kit, which drew on the similar pattern used in the previous season’s red home shirt.

Despite playing poorly, which led to manager David Moyes being sacked 10 months into a six-year contract, United definitely looked the part on the road.

8. Gold Centenary (2001/02)

Man Utd v Olympiakos X
The 2001/02 gold kit was a centenary celebration | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

There weren’t too many instances of United wearing their gold shirt during the 2001/02 season – one of the few was a horror show against Arsenal at Highbury – but it was a real statement jersey that celebrated an important milestone in the club’s history.

Released for 2002, it marked 100 years since the name change from Newton Heath to Manchester United and came at a time when the club was dominant in England.

The fan version was reversible – Umbro also made a couple of reversible England shirts around the same time – which meant supporters actually got two shirts for the price of one.

7. Newton Heath Throwback (1992 - 1994)

Bryan Robson wearing the green & gold halves | Getty Images/Getty Images

United and Umbro took things right the way back to the very beginning in 1992 for the start of the new Premier League era, creating a Newton Heath throwback with green and gold halves.

The launch saw the squad and coaching staff don 19th century moustaches and hairstyles to recreate the club’s original team photos from the late 1800s.

It is one of the ultimate vintage United jerseys that exist and buying an original now, complete with ‘Cantona’ printing, could easily set you back £300.

6. Manchester Rose (2019/20)

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire wearing Man Utd's 'Manchester Rose' shirt | UEFA - Handout/Getty Images

United paid a subtle tribute to history with a rose-inspired third kit for the 2019/20 season, which was released to mark the 110th anniversary of the club’s maiden FA Cup triumph in 1909.

The ‘Manchester rose’ graphic incorporated into the black shirt was influenced by the special rose crest the club used for that final against Bristol City over a century ago. The monochrome club badge in red also gave a fresh and modern contrast.

Back then, United won the FA Cup thanks to a single goal from Sandy Turnbull, who was sadly killed while fighting in the First World War eight years later.

5. European Cup Blue (1964 - 1971)

Brian Kidd
United wore all-blue in the 1968 European Cup final | Express/Getty Images

Although United’s primary away kit during the 1960s was white, the club also used blue change strips for much of the decade. Various iterations saw white shorts or socks worn with a blue shirt, but in the 1968 European Cup final it was all-blue against Benfica.

Bobby Charlton and George Best both shone that night as United became the first English club to be crowned European champions. Denis Law was the member of the fabled trinity who didn’t feature because of injury, but he wore the blue shirt on other occasions.

Despite being synonymous with red, United have long history of blue kits that pre-dates the 1960s, with plenty of the earliest away kits either blue, or blue and white stripes.

4. All-Black (1993 - 1995)

Eric Cantona
Man Utd wore a black shirt for the first time in 1993 | Getty Images/Getty Images

Black is now a common away colour for United and has been seen several times in the Premier League era, but the club had never had a black shirt prior to 1993. In the 27 years since its launch, this shirt has become a popular vintage throwback and has been re-released as a retro shirt.

The black is contrasted by sharp yellow and blue trim on the collar and sleeve cuffs, while the ‘Sharp Viewcam’ sponsor logo is considered a cult favourite.

To add a little bit of notoriety to the black strip, United were wearing it at Selhurst Park the night that Eric Cantona was sent off and lashed out at an abusive home fan.

3. Busby Babes Era (1957 - 1959)

Roger Byrne
Roger Byrne wearing all-white for the Busby Babes | Lee/Getty Images

United away colours for two decades from the late 1930s through to the late 1950s were blue, but the club adopted a new white away strip for the first time in half a century at the peak of the Busby Babes era in 1957.

The iconic white shirt with a red V-neck and sleeve cuffs was made famous by the likes of Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones and Liam Whelan, all of whom and more tragically died in the Munich air disaster in 1958.

United notably wore this jersey in the 1957 FA Cup final against Aston Villa, which denied the club a domestic league and cup double, and remains a popular retro shirt for fans to wear to this day.

The white Busby Babes kit was defined by thick red sock turnovers, which were changed in 1959.

2. European Cup Throwback (2008/09)

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo pulled Arsenal apart wearing blue in 2009 | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

United have had a number of all-blue away strips over the last 50 years that all paid tribute to the 1968 European Cup winning kit. But none have looked as good as that of 2008/09, released to mark the 40th anniversary and was the primary away kit used for European games.

On the face of it, the shirt was a very basic and plain design, paired with matching blue shorts and blue socks. But its pure simplicity gave it a look of real class.

United were wearing this all-blue number when they destroyed Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the 2008/09 Champions League semi-finals, featuring an iconic counter attack goal.

1. Classic adidas (1990 - 1992)

Mark Hughes, Des Walker
United's early blue shirt & white shirt is an adidas classic | Simon Bruty/Getty Images

United’s last away shirt prior to the Premier League era was this masterpiece by adidas that was used between 1990 and 1992. Items from this time period have been re-imagined for the adidas Original throwback ranges and the type of graphic design has been re-popularised in recent years.

This jersey also provided a popular retro look when a replica was re-released to buy in 2017.

On the pitch, the early 1990s marked a period of upward movement for United en-route to eventual Premier League glory. It was worn in the victorious 1992 League Cup final against Nottingham Forest and was also the away jersey the emerging Class of ’92 wore in the youth ranks at that time.

For a list of Manchester United's 10 best home kits of all time - click here.

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