Season 1981/82
original illustrations of the kits worn during the season

The Season in brief

Ron Atkinson was appointed United's new manager by new Chairman Martin Edwards, who had taken over after the death of his father in January 1981. Atkinson's appointment followed several high profile rejections of United's offer from Lawrie McMenemy, Bobby Robson and Ron Saunders. Atkinson wasted little time bringing Frank Stapleton, John Gidman, Remi Moses and Bryan Robson to Old Trafford.

After failing to win any of their opening four League games the side gelled and climbed to the top of the League with a 2-1 win at Anfield on October 24th. They remained top until mid February, but eventually finished third. Tottenham beat United 1-0 in both legs of their second round League Cup tie, and United lost by a similar score in the F.A. Cup third round tie at Vicarage Road.

For the first time since 1964 United's youngsters reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final, after reaching the semi finals in each of the previous two seasons, but were beaten by Watford. The Youth side included Mark Hughes, Norman Whiteside and Clayton Blackmore.

Both the home and change kits remained unchanged, and a new third kit was introduced. The first adidas replica shirts featured printed club crests and manufacturers logos which were still prone to fading. The change shirt featured the same crest as the home shirt, unlike the players versions which had crests in different colours. Pristine examples of these replica kits are very rare.