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Classic and Retro Manchester City Football Shirts
Despite their ups and downs the blue half of Manchester have remained remarkably consistent with their choice of light, or sky blue football jerseys since adopting the ‘Manchester City’ name back in 1894. However their very first shirt, when originally founded as Gorton FC a decade earlier, was black with a dramatic white cross over the heart. Generally paired with white or matching blue shorts and blue socks, the biggest change to the light blue football shirt colour came in 1997 when the club’s long-term deal with Manchester-based sportswear company Umbro ended and Italian brand Kappa stepped into produce the City kits. They ditched the paler shade of blue and opted for a new richer shade (officially entitled ‘Lazer Blue’). The new shade of blue didn’t bring the club much luck however as the first season it was worn saw the side relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history. Red and black stripes were introduced as an away kit by assistant manager Malcolm Allison in the 1960s under the belief that the colours of AC Milan would inspire the City side. Thanks to the great success achieved in this change strip the colours have remained popular ever since. Prior to this, claret was the club’s normal change colour and the team won the FA Cup twice while wearing it in 1934 and 1956. Swedish car manufacturers Saab became City’s first shirt sponsor in 1982, but Japanese company Brother who primarily produce printers, photocopiers etc., are the sponsors still often associated with the club despite not appearing on a City shirt since 1999. Today the club are sponsored by Etihad Airways with kits are produced by a prodigal Umbro, who for 2010-11, have reintroduced the claret trimmed light blue socks first worn in the 1960s