From Milan to Manchester: The making of City&x27s iconic red and black strip

    October 5, 1968 marked the debut of the city’s red and black striped jersey, which, combined with the accompanying black shorts and socks, would later become one of the most revered and popular outfits in the world. club.

    That said, the jersey’s debut came under less than auspicious circumstances.

    Reading: Man city red and black kit

    joe mercer’s reigning english champions wore the shirt for the first time in a league match at everton in the early october afternoon, where city suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at goodison park.


    Three days after the club’s long-awaited first European Cup campaign came to an early and hugely disappointing end against Turkish side Fenerbahçe in the first round, it was not the most encouraging start.

    However, over time, the red and black uniform would not only find its way into the city’s folklore, but would also cement itself as something of a lucky club talisman.

    And, as with much of the city’s success in that special golden period of the late 1960s, the architect behind the bold new look was revered visionary coach Malcolm Allison.

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    “The red and black kit was definitely Malcolm’s idea,” recalls Tommy Booth, one of the totem poles of that big side of town put together by manager Joe Mercer and Big Mal.

    “I had seen the bright side of late 1960s ac milan in that jersey and wrongly said they look great in it. they also won a european cup and a champions cup with red and black stripes, so the bad opinion was: “we’ll wear that too”.

    “we loved it and it also became a stroke of luck for us”. Mike Summerbee, wing wizard of that golden generation and now a much-admired club ambassador, echoes Tommy’s sentiment.

    “Wearing that kit made you feel bigger than you were and I thought we looked pretty good in that strip, people were a little scared of us,” buzzer added.

    they were right to be

    Then city basked in the glory of the 1969 fa cup in red and black, first in our 1-0 semi-final win over everton at villa park and then against leicester city in the final at Wembley too, where he secured the famous silver medal thanks to Neil Young’s impressive goal.

    the die was well cast.

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    and when the european cup and league cup winners’ cup were won the following season, few doubted that it wasn’t just a streak of luck, it had been seamlessly woven into the structure of the club itself.

    The red and black stripe has resurfaced several times over the ensuing 50-odd years, returning to accompany several memorable moments in the city’s history.

    We wore those colors when we beat Ipswich in the 1981 FA Cup semi-final, while City famously achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2000 resplendent in red and black during a classic fixture at Blackburn Rovers.


    On the road to our 2011 FA Cup success, the club’s first trophy in 35 years, over 4,000 city fans donned red and black scarves in a moving tribute to the late great Neil Young, as we were playing a 2-2 tie in leicester city in the third round tie.

    and for our first subsequent title in 44 years and our first premier league success, the second stripe was (of course), red and black stripes.

    most recently pep guardiola’s team wore a special red and black striped top as part of our wembley warm up outfit ahead of the 2019 fa cup final against watford our subsequent 6-1 marked the 50th anniversary from our victory in leicester in fashion fit.

    truly a kit for the ages…

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