10 best Manchester City kits: greatest ever MCFC shirts
Blue moon. You could argue, they’re now standing alone.
Standing alone head and shoulders above any team from recent memory, that is.
It’s time we recognise that Manchester City shirts have played their part, in what has been a Hollywood script of highs and lows.
From losing 2-1 to York City in Division Two back in 1998, to Erling Haaland’s record-breaking debut Premier League campaign in 2022/23. It’s all there.
City fans have been through thick and thin, so please revel in every emotion that these incredible shirts will stir up.
Some of the kits that are woven into the history of this club are beautiful. And we’ve picked our favourites.
From Maine Road to Istanbul and everywhere in between, here we go…
10. 1999-01 Home
Brand: Le Coq Sportif
The shirt that witnessed immediate promotion from the old First Division, back to the Premier League. Bliss.
Le Coq Sportif kits are the rarest of beasts, but they were once regular creators of baggy classics. This being one of them.
Central badges and an Eidos sponsor that’ll conjure wonderful memories for most millennials. We’re loading up Championship Manager, immediately.
A young Shaun Wright-Phillips was at risk of becoming airborne, but in the sky blue of this kit, he’d look the part floating down the wing.
9. 2022-23 Home
Move aside 2011-12, this is the shirt which may well go down as City’s most iconic of all.
Like the 1999-01 shirt above, a man named Haaland made this his own. In his first season, Erling knocked in a ridiculous 50+ goals. Anyone actually surprised?
Puma nailed the brief with this fantastic Colin Bell-inspired ‘70s design, bringing back the maroon trims of old.
A crew neck combined with central badging on plain sky blue. It was smart and pure.
8. 1992-94 Away
Now we shift from Blue Moon to Purple Rain. Oh Brother, this is what they mean when they say, “cult classic”.
This Umbro kit didn’t play a part in any good football, really. What it lost in terms of performance though, it made up for with its beauty.
Pinstripes and patterned purple is a wild idea in theory, yet it worked amazingly well alongside a solid collar and yellow badging.
It’s hard to find an original but your luck is in, as this shirt is now a popular member of the Score Draw replica range.
7. 1997-99 Home
The truest definition of a ‘mixed bag’ there has ever been. Not for design, but for performances.
It saw relegation from the First Division in 1998, swiftly followed by play-off promotion from the Second Division the year after.
Kappa are always a firm favourite of ours, and this was a ‘90s classic with iconic arm trims. Just drink in those long sleeves. Mmm.
This is a special shirt and it’ll hold dark reminders and joyous memories for MCFC faithful, forever.
6. 2009-11 Third
Now for something a little different. And oh, how we do love a sash design done well.
The transfers were in full flow come 2009, and Carlos Tevez famously swapped red for blue. Bagging 29 goals across all competitions in his first season.
A design ripped straight from the 1976 League Cup winning playbook, the sash was reversed and the (very small) sponsor added.
It was a delightful and simple shirt, which nodded effortlessly towards MCFC’s history.
5. 1990-92 Away
Maroon makes a return, in a ‘90s form as pure as curtain hairstyles and early Oasis.
This cool design was part of the furniture as Man City finished 5th in consecutive First Division seasons under Peter Reid.
Players like David White and Niall Quinn were the top dogs, banging in goals left, right and centre.
The pattern on this kit reminds us of classic Mitre footballs, with accents of sky blue to keep it quintessentially City. It’s a gem.
4. 1987-89 Home
The late ‘80s delivered a mountain of excellent shirts. This is another piece of City’s iconic Umbro x Brother series, which still holds up today.
A solid 1988/89 season saw Mel Machin’s MCFC side promoted to the First Division, finishing 2nd only to a rampaging Chelsea.
This collar and cuff design is making a comeback in 2023/24, while its criss-cross background adds depth and texture to plain sky blue.
It’s a simple and easy, stone-cold classic. Not unlike Wonderwall.
3. 1998-99 Away
We’re taking one giant step from simple to complex here, yet somehow this lively Kappa 1998/99 away shirt doesn’t offend.
Division Two play-off final, Wembley. Gillingham. 2-0 down in the 87th minute. 2-2 by the 95th minute. Penalties. Elation.
An unusual piece of Cityzens’ history, bundled up into a garish navy and neon yellow parcel. And every City fan loves it.
It’s a beacon, sent to remind all MCFC supporters as to just how far they’ve come.
2. 2011-12 Away
This shirt has been overlooked, due to the one billion images of a youthful Sergio Agüero(oooohhhh) windmilling with that season’s home shirt.
But it’s far better than the 2011/12 home. The red and black stripes are a favourite for City away designs, and this one tops the bill.
Agüero may have stolen the headlines, yet it’s the vertical striping, yellow accents and deep black collar that we’re more interested in.
It’s a very smart kit, which was mirrored closely by Puma’s 2022/23 diagonal stripe effort.
1. 1989-91 Home
Using the same base template as the maroon 1990-92, there’s no doubt that it’s infinitely better in City’s sky blue palette.
You can draw a direct line between this and England’s Italia ‘90 shirts (some of the best ever made). Yeah, that’s a comparison any kit would be glad to be part of.
The best shirt of the Umbro x Brother era, this one will live long in the memory. Not from performances, but purely on aesthetics.
Tracking one down may prove to be an issue, but luckily you have the opportunity to bag a Score Draw replica of this classic.
So, that’s our top ten done and dusted. Whether you agree or not, it’s fair to say that City have had some incredible kits over the years.