On January 17, 1981, Middlesbrough traveled to Manchester to play against City at Maine Road. Bizarrely, Boro wore Manchester United’s home red kit that day.
Here’s how and why it happened.
“It was in game played in 1981, when we took [Middlesbrough’s] Datsun Cleveland sponsored shirts for a game at Maine Road versus Manchester City,” according to the official Middlesbrough website. “Due to the live game being switched to Maine Road, the Boro kitman was sent to Old Trafford to garner a set of strips for Boro to play in!”
And played they did although Manchester City were eventual winners, scoring three goals while Boro scored two.
This was during the early days of shirt sponsorship when televised games were not allowed to show such advertising. Thank goodness Manchester United agreed to lend Boro the shirts.