FC United of Manchester is proud to announce on International Women’s Day that the FC United women’s team will, for the first time in the club’s history, wear their own away kit for the 2023-24 season.
A special kit has been designed by our kit suppliers New Balance Team Sports to celebrate women and football. The purple, green and white colours traditionally associated with the suffragette movement - and the striking sash design based on the sashes worn at parades and rallies by supporters of women’s suffrage - have been chosen to recognise Manchester’s historical connection with the suffragette movement. This year marks 120 years since the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU) was formed in the city in 1903 and began its campaign to get women the vote.
It wasn’t until 1928 that women were granted equal voting rights to men in parliamentary and local government elections in the UK. And it’s only since 1971 that women have been allowed to play our national sport professionally after the Football Association banned women from playing on any pitch which was under FA control in 1921, arguing that “the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged”.
So the kit also celebrates equality and diversity in football including the England women’s team’s success in the Euro 2022 tournament along with the FC United’s women’s team strong showing this season in the North West Women’s Regional League – we currently sit in second place in the table, only a point off top spot with three games in hand.
The theme of International Women’s Day this year is equity and it invites us to “imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity”.
FC United’s Chief Executive Officer Natalie Atkinson said: “I’m delighted we are able to share this exciting news on International Women’s Day and lead the way for women in sport. This is a first for FC United, whereby our women’s team will have their own unique kit and it feels even more special that the kit’s design recognises the contributions and success of women in sport and wider society over the last century.” FC United’s women’s team will continue to wear the red official kit as their home kit.
Sophie Rogers of New Balance Team Sports said: “New Balance Team Sports are honoured to design this celebratory women’s kit for FC United of Manchester and all that it stands for. We hope the kit will be embraced by football supporters far and wide and that it helps champion the equality and diversity of women in sport.”
You can pre-order the new women’s kit now from our online store. Stock is expected to arrive by mid-June. A portion of the profits from the sale of the shirt will also be donated to Manchester Women’s Aid which provides support to women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
FC United of Manchester women’s captain Kirsty Chambers said: “Myself and the rest of the girls are thrilled to be wearing our own kit next season. We love what the kit represents – it’s all about empowering women and we have chosen the charity Manchester Women’s Aid to help support women and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse.”
Special thanks to our women’s and girl’s football partners Pretty Little Thing for arranging the photoshoot to launch the kit.
FC United women’s captain and founder member of the women’s team Kirsty Chambers models the new women’s away kit for the 2023-24 season.
Kirsty Chambers wearing the special kit, alongside the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in St Peter’s Square, Manchester. Emmeline Pankhurst formed the WSPU in 1903.
Kirsty photography with the statue of Lily Parr inside the National Football Museum which will be displaying the celebratory women's kit.