"Get that kit off!" - Today marks the 20th anniversary of Manchester United's infamous half-time kit change

"The players couldn't pick each other out," Ferguson said after United lost 3-1 at The Dell

"Get that kit off!" - Today marks the 20th anniversary of Manchester United's infamous half-time kit change

Image: Fiona Hanson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

In 1996, Manchester United were on the brink of winning the Premiership title which - according to the Independent - was "the biggest prize in football".

Alex Ferguson's side came into the game in imperious form. They were unbeaten since the turn of the year, notching 10 wins and just two draws as they seized the momentum from title rivals Newcastle.

Victory over Kevin Keegan's side, as well as Arsenal, Blackburn and local rivals Manchester City put United in pole position heading into the home straight.

Southampton, meanwhile, didn't flatter to deceive. They had lost seven of their previous 10 games in the league and their inconsistency would ultimately see them beat the drop on goal difference at the expense of Manchester City.

Things weren't looking good at half-time, the Saints were three-nil up at the break.

"The manager just stormed in and said: 'Get that kit off, you're getting changed'," Lee Sharpe told The Guardian in 2006.

"Those were the first words he said at half-time. I don't think he liked the shirt anyway - our results had been poor whenever we wore it, and we certainly never played in it again."

Eric Cantona dons Manchester United's infamous two-toned grey strip. Image: Fiona Hanson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The change did seem to work, United scored in the second half to put more respectability on the scoreline.

"The players don’t like the grey strip," said Ferguson after the match. "They find it difficult to pick each other out. We had to change the strip.”

The second-half strip, Cantona this time sports a blue and white number at The Dell. Image: iona Hanson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Speaking after his side’s trip to Southampton in September 2012, Ferguson said: “Yeah, I remember that grey strip. Who can forget it? I changed the kits at half-time and we got charged £10,000 for it.

"It was the best £10,000 I ever spent!”

Manchester United lost four and drew one of their five games in the grey kit. It was officially retired two days after this game. United would go on to capture the league title by winning the remainder of their games.