Your Cart is Empty

Vintage shirts
  • Modern Classics
  • Concept Kits
  • Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu

  • A column with no settings can be used as a spacer

  • Link to your collections, sales and even external links

  • Add up to five columns

  • February 05, 2022 3 min read

    Our shirts don’t need saving - Episode 1

    Last year, a certain bookmaker called for the end to shirt sponsorship as we know it.

    As a series of joke shirt release and PR stunts unfolded, thousands upon thousands joined in with the “Save Our Shirt” campaign. Sponsors were lambasted by many as a symbol of everything that was wrong with the modern game.

    And I hated it.

    I hated the thought of losing shirt sponsors completely. 

    Many of my memories of a particular team or a particular kit are tied intrinsically to the sponsor(s) on the front of a shirt. Even the ugliest of sponsors have a place in the kit ecosystem in my eyes (yes, even the gambling ones), and there’s even a place at the table for kits with several sponsors slapped on.

    In an effort to celebrate the vibrant world of shirt sponsorship, we’re starting a new fightback in SUPPORT of sponsors.

    Welcome to the first edition of “Our shirts don’t need saving”. 

    Halcyon days on the red side of Manchester

    Without wanting to sound cliché, I grew up at a time when Manchester United were one of the pillars of the English game. Even as a kid growing up in Essex, you were guaranteed to have at least a few Red Devils fans in your class during any given school year.


    Though I only caught the end of the Sharp x United relationship, the legacy of the partnership echoed on for a long time. I would argue that it's a tandem that remains oen the great examples of a sponsorship that just works.

    From a longevity perspective, we saw Sharp on the front of Manchester United kits from as early as 1982. Shirt sponsors were a relative novelty during the early 80s, but the introduction of Sharp made a tonne of sense for the red side of Manchester.

    Sharp had a factory right in the heart of Newton Heath, the spiritual home of the Red Devils, and the global ambition both parties shared was strong. Most importantly though, success on the pitch was about to arrive in bucketloads.

    Yorke, Cole, Solskjaer, Beckham, Neville, Schmeichel, Robson, Keane, Cantona, Scholes, Giggs. The list of greats who wore a Sharp sponsored shirt is long and illustrious, and virtually every possible club trophy passed through these players hands during the Sharp years.

    Of course the most famous of these was one which was minutes away from never reaching Manchester. That fateful comeback on the evening of 26 May 1999 will go down as one of the most incredible footballing moments of all time, and Sharp were lucky enough (or perhaps smart enough) to be there for every step. 

    In 10, 20, 50 years time, what images will jump to the forefront of our minds when someone mentions the Manchester United team of the Alex Ferguson years? For me, if it’s not the annoyingly unwavering ability to just win, it’s Sharp.

    Check back for more episode of Our shirts don’t need saving, and thanks to designer Ifrha for the wonderful illustration of the Sharp kits. You can see more of Ifrha's work over on Insta.

    You can also get your own SHARP x Manchester United kits from our store. Browse the full collection here and pick-up a classic.

    Leave a comment

    Also in Things We Like

    Bayern Munich shirt protest
    The club colours are untouchable

    November 23, 2023 4 min read

    Are Bayern fans being a bit too precious, or is there merit in their frustrations.
    Read More
    Castore wet look
    Is there a way back for Castore?

    November 06, 2023 4 min read

    If a manufacturer league table were to exist Castore would be sitting in the relegation zone.
    Read More
    2024 England shirt
    Predictions for England's 2024 football shirt

    November 05, 2023 3 min read

    Read More