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Manchester City won the FA Cup in 1969 wearing a kit inspired by Milan
Joe Mercer’s stylish side won the famous old trophy 50 years ago wearing a shirt that has become a retro favourite
A win for Manchester City in the FA Cup final would be their 50th triumph in all competitions this season.
It would also mark 50 years since another much admired and stylish side won the famous old trophy under Joe Mercer and his assistant Malcolm Allison.
In 1969, City’s swagger on the pitch was not the only stand out thing about them – their kit caught the attention, too.
It wasn’t their usual blue, but instead Francis Lee, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee donned vertical red and black strips, along with black shorts and socks.
Having also worn it in earlier rounds, including a semi-final victory over Everton, the kit has since become firmly established as a retro favourite.
“The special kit Malcolm’s idea I think,” defender Tommy Booth told mancity.com.
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“I believe that Malcolm had seen AC Milan wearing that shirt playing in Italy and he said he thought they looked awesome in that. He told us: ‘We’ll wear that too.’ And it seemed to work!”
“Wearing it made you feel bigger than you were and I thought we looked pretty good in that strip – people were a bit afraid of us,” Summerbee said.
“I’ve always called it our lucky strip,” club captain Tony Book said, owing to the success associated with wearing it.
Like Pep Guardiola’s current side, the City team 50 years ago were at the top of English football, having won the league a season earlier and then in 1970, won the League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup.
Now they are aiming to become the first side to win a domestic treble, having already wrapped up the Carabao Cup and Premier League title.
Standing in their way is Watford, who have reached the FA Cup final for the first time since 1984.
The 2019 FA Cup final is live on talkSPORT at 5pm on Saturday 18 May.