Liam Gallagher’s Classic Man City Shirts | Cult Kits x COPA90
Before the Premier League, Sky Sports and a Whole New Ball Game, English football was an altogether harsher, more jagged entity. Back then, City's squad – pieced together entirely of players from the British Isles – featured men with no-nonsense names like STEVE REDMOND, MIKE QUIGLEY and WAYNE CLARKE.
But despite the unforgiving, mud-and-thunder of the old First Division, Maine Road's finest were kitted out in the silkiest of threads. City's shirt between 1989 and ‘91 was, ahem, definitely maybe their greatest ever.
1992-94 Away, by Umbro
This shirt screams Oasis, doesn't it? The inspiration came from City's 1956 FA Cup winning strip – worn in the famous Trautmann final. And what an absolute masterpiece it is. There's not much prettier than mid-90s Umbro: the brand's absolute halcyon days.
For City, though, things were starting to turn ugly: a ninth place finish in the inaugural Premier League was followed by a lowly 16th in 1994... and, little by little, the wheels began to come off.
1995-96 Training Top, by Umbro
A squad comprising the likes of Georgi Kinkladze, Niall Quinn and Uwe Rosler somehow contrived to get themselves relegated in 1996 – memorably, as it turned out. Drawing 2-2 at home to Liverpool on the final day of the season, the Citizens thought a point was enough. It wasn't. They went down on goal difference.
The abiding memory of that May afternoon was Steve Lomas keeping the ball by the corner flag, seemingly oblivious to the fact his team needed a winner to stay up. Where did it all go wrong?
1996-97 Away, by Umbro
Having kept the bulk of their squad together, City were expected to steamroll their way back to the Premier League following relegation in 1996. But they were no force of nature, instead working their way through five managers on the way to a 14th place finish.
One of the few highlights of an especially bleak season was their away shirt – a kind of Indie rock homage complete with a purple sash. An absolute Knebworth essential.
1997-99 Home, by Kappa
City's second season in Division One (the Championship in today's money) felt more than a little exotic thanks to the arrival of Kappa as kit manufacturer – the brand whose slightly weird logo had famously adorned the shirts of Barcelona and Juventus.
The laser blue home jersey, complete with new club badge, was supposed to usher in a new era of ascendancy and optimism for City and their long-suffering supporters. But the pain continued and, after a miserable season – which included defeats to Port Vale, Bury and Crewe – the Citizens were relegated to the old Third Division.
They won promotion the following season, though, with the masterplan coming together in dramatic fashion via the play-off final. The renaissance of modern Man City was at its dawn.
Watch COPA90's full interview with Liam Gallagher here: