The Stone Roses have become somewhat synonymous with their beloved Manchester United over the years. The euphoric track ‘This Is The One’ is still blared across Old Trafford before matches (thanks to defender-turned-pundit Gary Neville), ‘One Love’ flags still sail across the whole of the Stretford End, and Stone Roses bassist Mani still makes any cameo appearance he’s offered in various films, talks, and documentaries to express his undying love for his boyhood club.
Now, in 2024, Manchester United has made this relationship official. In an Instagram post sporting the call-to-arms line from ‘She Bangs The Drums’, “The past was yours. But the future’s mine,” around Argentinian star-boy Alejandro Garnacho’s face, the Premier League football club has made known its plans to launch a range of merchandise inspired by their musical champions. However, is this pairing just another unnecessary fashion collaboration or a work of genius?
The collection, partnering with Adidas, will include a ‘reversible anthem jacket’ – featuring both a sleek, minimal United exterior and an interior of guitarist John Squire’s iconic reworking of Jackson Pollock paintwork. It’s bound to be a favourite for fans looking to slip effortlessly from football casual fashion to psychedelic, ‘Madchester’ extravagance.
The collection will also feature a Stone Roses pre-match shirt: a muted greyscale take on the iconic acrylic splattering of the band’s sleeve design, paired with a golden badge. Hopefully, we will see the likes of Rasmus Højlund and co sport this exclusive pre-match shirt at their very own ‘Theatre of Dreams’ shortly: a walking procession of sporting, musical, and artistic heritages intertwining.
The collection follows on from Manchester United’s recent collaboration with Factory graphic designer Peter Saville, a range which saw training kits designed around his minimalist, and effortlessly cool, floppy disk design for New Order’s 1983 single ‘Blue Monday’. Whilst that collection seemed fit for Winter training sessions, this new one seems to look towards a Spring/Summer period of “citroen-soaking sunshine” (‘Bye Bye Badman’). The football club continues to pay its respects to its city’s musical and cultural ambassadors.
Football grounds, Manchester pubs, and music festivals have found their newest mode of football hooliganism attire. You can take a look at Footy Headlines’ leak of the kit here.
However, is this collection a case of ‘fool’s gold’? Many fans of both the club and the band will see this as yet another corporate distraction from disappointing performances – to say the least – thus far this 23/24 season for Eric Ten Hag’s side. However, as far as corporate partnerships go, who better to partner with than a group of die-hard Manchester United fans, happening to be in one of the most celebrated indie outfits of all time, who have supported the club both on and off the stage?
For many, this collaboration will be a loving commemoration of a life-changing band, and its one true love Manchester United Football Club. For others, it will be an example of an under-performing club once more looking to sunnier days, where Manchester’s music gods partied alongside their fans, all basking in their shared club’s roaring successes. Either way, the attire for Manchester’s summer is set to arrive. Expect a lot more bucket hats.
The Manchester United x The Stone Roses range will be available from February 8, 2024.