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adidas Originals retro Manchester United shirts

adidas know how to do retro shirts, and you don't need to be a Red Devil to appreciate their quality

Image of adidas Originals Retro Manchester United Shirt 1983 1984

Who doesn't love retro Manchester United shirts?

There are few things as evocative as a classic design with all the original bells and whistles on, and the best kits instantly conjure up memories of years gone by.

But whilst pretty much every club produces retro shirts, not many of them (if any) produce retro shirts as good as Manchester United. Arguably the best thing about the adidas x United partnership of the past few seasons has been the retro shirts that have periodically been released, much to our enjoyment.

Because these designs are worth talking about, we’ve picked out a selection of our favourites from the past few years. There’s everything from a recreation of Manchester United’s ‘84 home shirt to a remake of the legendary 1990/92 away kit.

If you’re lucky some of these will still be in stock, so act fast to try and snap up a deal before it’s too late.

adidas Originals Manchester United 1990-1992 away shirt

adidas originals united 1990
A true 90s icon. Image from

We’ll start with probably the most iconic of the bunch. Does it get any better than this?

In many ways this shirt is one of the great football shirt designs of all-time, let alone in Man United’s history. The majestic blue/white interlocking geometric pattern has been referenced multiple times over the years in various kits, but nothing comes close to the original look. A lot of people talk about the 90s as the best era for football shirts, and this shirt is very much one of the defining kits of that wonderfully prosperous era.

This kit has all the trimmings including the adidas Originals logo, classic United crest, Sharp sponsor and well-crafted details, and if you can grab one you’ll be the envy of your mates for literally decades to come.

adidas Originals Manchester United 1990-1992 away shirt - red colourway

adidas originals united red
What a gorgeous kit this would've been. Image from

Incase blue just isn’t your colour, adidas and United also designed the 1990/92 away in an all-red colourway. We say red, the bright shade is almost orange in parts, but far from a criticism if anything it adds to its appeal.

All the features of the original are still present, but with the added bonus of an extra layer of subtlety. Details sit nicely in a darker red on top of the base, meaning you can appreciate the shirt just as much up-close as you can from afar.

This is a shirt for those fans who like to mix things up once in a while, people who appreciate a remix without losing the essence of an original piece. Beautiful stuff adidas and beautiful stuff Manchester United.

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Manchester United 50th anniversary shirt

Just look at those long sleeves. Image from adidas.

Though strictly not an adidas Originals release, we simply had to sneak in this 50th anniversary shirt because it is stunning.

Commemorating United’s European cup triumph in 1968, the long sleeved affair dazzles in a dark, dark shade of blue (which looks almost black) and a detailed gold anniversary crest that is everything we love about old-school badges. It’s a shiny work of art which pops out against the dark base, and we don’t expect this design to ever go out of fashion thanks to its blend of retro and modern features.

adidas Originals Manchester United 1983-1984 home shirt

adidas originals united 1983
This is everything that was good about United shirts in the 80s. Image from SoccerBible.

V-neck designs scream retro, and this adidas Original gem channels a time when Manchester United took on the v-neck to huge success. Another retro staple is very much present here too: the tonal pinstripes.

Add a little bit of black trim on the collar and cuffs and you’ve got a timeless look which only looks better the more years go by. It doesn’t hurt to once again see a shirt adorned with an embroidered adidas Original trefoil logo, and the classic Manchester United crest design. Oh and Sharp’s sponsor logo across the middle. This is a combo Red Devils fans will have fond memories of, and few shirts capture it as well as this one.

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adidas Originals Manchester United 1980-1982 home shirt

adidas originals united 1980
As retro as they come. Image from HYPEBEAST.

Sometimes less is more, and this Manchester United retro shirt channeling the early 80s knows exactly what it is. There are no frills, just good old fashioned red and white design features which are free from gimmicks but equally full of quality.

A v-neck and large collar combo looks great at the top, and adidas’ iconic three stripes flow from the collar to the cuffs which are themselves a clean white. This is a design which will satisfy everyone from nostalgic younger fans to traditionalists who don’t want any distractions with their kits. We can get behind both those points of view.

adidas Originals Manchester United 1984-1986 away and third shirts

adidas originals united away and third
Look at that shade of blue. Wonderful. Image from SoccerBible.

If we had our way centralised crests would return to fashion. Thankfully, until then, we can enjoy retro shirts like the adidas Originals Manchester United 1984-1986 away and third kits.

It’s not just the centralised crest which looks great, the ‘backpack straps’ on either sleeves create a fantastic aesthetic. We’ve also got a collar and cuff detail combo, and the cherry on top is a large adidas trefoil on the left sleeve. Oh and did we mention the colours, with the royal blue third kit sure to grab people’s attention in particular.

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Next time you want to pick up a retro MUFC shirt, or one of the Red Devils latest match kits, you’ll find the best prices right here at FOOTY.COM. We compare prices on 100s of retro Premier League kits, so you can make sure you’re getting a great deal. And if you’re after some adidas Originals casual footwear, we compare prices on those too.

Phil Delves

Grab a brew, and let's talk about subliminal geometric patterns.