Manchester United have unveiled their new away kit for 2021-22 and it is directly inspired by one of the most enduring and popular jerseys in the club’s back catalogue.
The new shirt is a modernised reinterpretation of the United 1990-92 away kit with its famous blue-and-white tessellating “snowflake” motif — which remains a fan favourite three decades later.
The 2021-22 version features a similar geometric pattern in what manufacturers Adidas are calling “Cloud White” and “Glory Blue” that is engineered into the fabric of the shirt, while flashes of bright red trim compliment the retro look. The choice of that particular shade of blue is also a deliberate reference back to the away jersey which was worn by United’s 1968 European Cup-winning side — hence the name.
The kit was launched with a captivating animated promo video, narrated by Salford-born punk poet John Cooper Clarke in inspiring form.
No respect for impossible.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 30, 2021
United wore their original “snowflake” kit during the two seasons prior to the inaugural Premier League campaign of 1992-93, which they went on to win. The strip is synonymous with United players who formed the foundation of the club’s dominance of the rest of the decade: Mark Hughes, Denis Irwin, Steve Bruce, Paul Ince, Andrey Kanchelskis and a young Ryan Giggs.
It was also the kit that the club wore to beat Nottingham Forest in the 1991-92 League Cup final at Wembley, when an early goal from Brian McClair was enough to win the trophy for United for the very first time.
Our first League Cup final win came in 1992 against Nottingham Forest, courtesy of Brian McClair’s cool finish. pic.twitter.com/ls8YyFUa69
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 24, 2017
The kit has remained popular among fans ever since, and not just United fans: it came in at No. 22 in ESPN’s ranking of soccer’s all-time top 101 kits.
Last year the pattern was reimagined as part of Adidas’ special range of custom, hand-painted jerseys. The clothing line was released in collaboration with singer, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams and his Humanrace creative label, with the United jersey using a mottled tie-dye effect.
This isn’t even the first time that Adidas have revamped the snowflake motif, with the pattern being pulled from the vaults to be used on United’s 2017-18 monochrome away shirt.
The new 2021-22 away kit was due to be worn on the pitch for the first time when United travelled to face Preston North End in a preseason friendly on Saturday, but that game has been cancelled after a COVID-19 outbreak within the first-team squad.