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Discussion Starter #1
Due to there being a 10 year gap in the original history of United, I have cut and copied all the original posts on this history and inserted the missing years.

Part One: Before 1909

Manchester United Football Club was first formed in 1878, albeit under a different name - Newton Heath LYR (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway).

Little suspecting the impact they were to eventually to have on the national, even global game, the workers in the railway yard at Newton Heath indulged their passion for football with games against other departments of the LYR or other railway companies. Newton Heath played their first ever seriously competitive game in the FA Cup 1st round at Fleetwood Rangers. Drawing 2-2 before an attendance of 2000 The referee asked both teams to play a period of extra time to decide the fixture. Newton Heath refused and the game was awarded to Fleetwood Rangers!! Newton Heath remained at their North Road ground for fifteen years from 1878 to 1893, a year after entering the Football League, before moving to a new home at Bank Street in nearby Clayton. Mr Bert Gregory who acted as a groundsman on the small field on North Road in Newton Heath, passed down stories tell of, " a small field ,a muddy bog " sand had to be laid onto the field just to try and make it playable, this is where Newton Heath first played their home games,the team players had to change into their football kit in a local public house and walk from the pub to the field and play the game, it was the Three Crowns pub on Oldham Road.

Indeed, when the Football League was formed in 1888, Newton Heath did not consider themselves good enough to become founder members alongside the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End. They waited instead until 1892 to make their entrance. In the FA Cup of 1891/92 Newton Heath were drawn against Manchester City on the 3rd October. Newton Heath ran out winners 5-1!! Newton Heath eventually went out in the 4th Qualifying Round to Blackpool 4-3.

Newton Heaths first league game, (3 Sept 1892) was away at Blackburn Rovers, losing 4-3 in front of 8000. A Scot named Robert Donaldson became the first player to score a league goal for Newton Heath. On 15th October 1892 we beat Wolves 10-1 at North Road. The final league table placed Newton Heath rock bottom with only 18 points. Season two (1893/94) saw Newton Heath again rock bottom with only 14 points. Season 1884/95 and Newton Heath finish 3rd in the new Division Two behind Bury and Notts County, with a total of 34 points, 9 points behind the winners. On 2 November 1895 Newton Heath entertained Liverpool in a 5-2 win and beat Arsenal 5-1 on 30th Nov 1895. We finished the season 6th with 33 points from 30 games.

Season 1896/97 and Newton Heath saw off West Manchester 7-0 on 12 Dec in an FA Cup tie. The season finished with Newton Heath coming 2nd with 22 points behind Notts county on 49 points!! Second did not get promoted in those days!

Christmas Day the following season, Newton Heath went to Man City (Hyde Road) and won 1-0 with a goal from Cassidy. In February Liverpool knocked Newton Heath out of the FA Cup after a replay and the odd goal. They then went on to beat Arsenal 5-1 in the next game, finishing 4th at the end of the season.

Season 1898/99 and Newton Heath were showing signs of pressure both on and off the field. Loses to City, Burton Swifts, Liverpool, Arsenal (5-1) saw Newton Heath finish 4th at the end of this season. Notable results along the way were a 9-0 drubbing of Darwen on Christams Eve; 3-0 away win against New Brighton Tower and beating Luton 5-0. Turn of the century saw Newton Heath finish again 4th. Boxing Day 1899, Newton Heath travelled to Grimsby and won 7-0. And, in the first game of 1900 lost at home to Bolton 2-1. Home attendances were around the 6500 average.

Financial problems plagued Newton Heath, and by the start of the twentieth century it seemed they were destined for extinction. The club was saved, however, by a local brewery owner, John Henry Davies. Legend has it that he learned of the club's plight when he found a dog belonging to Newton Heath captain Harry
Stafford
. St the end of the 1901 season Newton Heath finished 10th in Division 2. Newton Heath were to finish 15th in Division 2 in 1902 and the team was to vanish, reemerging the following season as Manchester United.

Davies decided to invest in the club, in return for some interest in running it. This led to a change of name and, after several alternatives including Manchester Central and Manchester Celtic were rejected, Manchester United were born in April/May 1902. United played Accrington Stanley in Nov 1902 and won 7-0. And then beat Oswaldtwistle Rovers 3-2. The very first "derby" game as United v city saw the teams share the points 1-1, played at Bank Street. Attendances doubled and v Birmingham, 25000 watched. On 7th Feb 1903 United met Liverpool in the FA Cup 1st Round, beating them 2-1 and then, in April the return derby game at City's Hyde Road saw United win 2-0. The 1903 season finished with City on top and United in 5th.

The next influential figure to arrive at United was Ernest Mangnall, who was appointed secretary in September 1903 but is widely acknowledged as being the club's first manager. His side, including new signings like goalkeeper Harry Moger and forward Charlie Sagar, finished third in the Second Division in 1903/04 with 48 points and again in 1904/05 with 53 points. Liverpool, relegated the season before, won top spot. United were only 5 points behind.

The following season, 1905/06, was to prove one of the greatest in the early life of Manchester United. The half-back line of Dick Duckworth, Alex Bell and captain Charlie Roberts were instrumental in the side which reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, but more importantly finished as runners-up in the Second Division. Twelve years after being relegated, United reclaimed their place in the top flight. Bristol City won top spot, 4 points ahead of the Reds. In the 3rd Rd of the FA Cup, United beat Aston Villa 5-1 before an attendance of 35,000.

To celebrate, Mangnall signed Billy Meredith from rivals
Manchester City
. Nicknamed the Welsh Wizard, Meredith had been implicated in a bribery scandal at City, and was due to be auctioned along with 17 other players. Mangnall made his move early, and acquired Meredith's signature before the bidding began. Meridith played his first game in a 3-0 defeat by Notts County, on 1st Jan 1907. United finished 8th in Division 1.

The winger's arrival proved to be inspirational - Meredith set up countless goals for Sandy Turnbull in 1907/08 when United won the Football League Championship for the first time. As champions, United played in the first ever Charity Shield in 1908. They duly won the trophy, beating FA Cup winners QPR 4-0, in a replay, thanks to a hat-trick from
Sandy
's namesake, Jimmy Turnbull. On 22nd February United had played Aston Villa, at Villa Park, in the 3rd Rd of the FA Cup, winning 2-0. Going out in the next round to Fulham 2-1. City finished 3rd and Liverpool 8th.

The third trophy to be added to the club's honours board was the FA Cup, at the end of a tremendous run in 1909. United beat
BristolCity
1-0 in the final, thanks to Sandy Turnbull's goal. But, dropped to 13th in the Division.

And so the first chapter in the club's history ended on a high note, with the promise of more to come in the next, including a move to a certain new stadium, Old Trafford.
 

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Part Two: 1910 - 1929

The words Old Trafford entered football folklore for the first time during the 1909/10 season.

The land on which the stadium was built was bought by the Manchester Brewery Company (John Henry Davies) and leased to the club. Davies himself paid for the building work, which commenced in 1908 under the supervision of the renowned architect Archibald Leitch. By 1910, the club had moved lock, stock and barrel from their old home of
Bank Street.

United's first fixture at Old Trafford was played on
19 February 1910. The new hosts lost 4-3 to their first visitors Liverpool, but the stadium was successful in accommodating an 80,000 capacity crowd. Two days previously, the old wooden stand at Bank Street
had been blown down by strong winds - further evidence, perhaps, that United were suited to and needed their new home.

Indeed, United were crowned League Champions for the second time in their history, at the end of their first full season at Old Trafford - 1910/1911. They clinched the title at home on the final day of the season, beating
Sunderland
5-1 with Harold Halse grabbing two of the goals.

Halse wasn't the only goalscoring hero of that second Championship season. Another was the swashbuckling forward Enoch ‘Knocker’ West, who scored 19 goals during the campaign. United also won the Charity Shield, beating
SwindonTown
8-4, with Halse grabbing a double hat-trick.

Despite such feats, United could not keep up their winning run and in 1911/12, the defending champions finished disappointingly in thirteenth place. Secretary-manager Ernest Mangnall bore the brunt of the criticism, and resigned to join United's neighbours and rivals
ManchesterCity
.

The search for Mangnall's successor finished at the door of JJ Bentley, the president of the Football League. Under his guidance the Reds claimed fourth place in the League at the end of the 1912/13 season.

The 1913/14 season was a period of transition, with Charlie Roberts and Alex Bell sold to
Oldham and Blackburn
respectively. United finished in 14th, with West finishing as top scorer for the third season in a row.

The 1914/15 campaign was notable for a change of management - in December 1914, the roles of secretary and team manager were separated for the first time. Bentley became full-time secretary and John Robson was appointed to look after and select the team.

Robson's team was a shadow of the one which had performed so well in the previous decade, as only George Stacey, Billy Meredith, Sandy Turnbull and George Wall remained from the 1909 FA Cup-winning side. Not surprisingly, the club struggled, only escaping relegation by a single point. To rub salt into the wound, Mangnall's
ManchesterCity
side finished in fifth place, thirteen places above United.

Before United could form a plan for recovery, the outbreak of the First World War put football firmly to the back of people's minds. The Football League was suspended, and clubs resorted to playing in regional competitions.

United played in the Lancashire Prinicipal and Subsidiary Tournaments for four seasons, but this was a less than successful diversion, the misery compounded by the fact that two of the club's players were found guilty of match fixing. Enoch West was banned for life as was Sandy Turnbull, who joined the Footballers' Battalion to help
Britain
's war effort.

Tragically Turnbull was killed during a battle in
France
in May 1917, to leave Manchester United without another of their early century heroes for their return to league football in 1919/20.

Manchester United returned to League football on
30 August 1919, following a four-year gap caused by the First World War. The team for that first match back against DerbyCounty included many new faces - in fact only two of the men on duty had played in United's previous league game at the end of the 1914/15 season.

Billy Meredith was still at Old Trafford, but reaching the end of his illustrious Old Trafford career. He made only 19 appearances in 1919/20 when United finished 12th in the First Division. The new hero of the terraces, Joe Spence, finished the season as the team's top scorer with 14 League goals. He was joint top scorer again in 1920/21, but this time with half the tally as United again under-achieved to finish in 13th place.

Manager John Robson then left the club, to be replaced by John Chapman, who reverted to the dual role of secretary/manager last held by JJ Bentley. Meanwhile, former manager Ernest Mangnall continued to make the local headlines with City, as they moved into a new stadium at
Maine Road
.

Mangnall also re-signed Meredith for City and despite his advancing years, it was perhaps no coincidence that United were relegated in their first season without him, winning only 8 of their 42 matches in 1921/22.

On the 28th Jan 1922 United played their 1000th game. Sunderland were our visitors at Old Trafford and, before an attendance of 18000, we won 3-1.

Chapman's team that played in the Second Division was bereft of any star names, and failed to win promotion at the first (1922/23) or even the second attempt (1923/24). The on-field leadership of Frank Barson eventually brought about a marked improvement, however, resulting in promotion at the end of 1924/25. United finished second to
LeicesterCity
, after losing only eight games.

United's top flight status was cemented with a ninth-place finish in 1925/26. Chapman's team also went on a great run in the FA Cup, but this came to a halt in the semi-finals when
ManchesterCity beat them 3-0 at Bramall Lane. City's luck then ran out, as they lost both the final (to Bolton
) and their place in the First Division.

Not that United supporters could afford to laugh at City. Two months into the 1926/27 season, they had troubles of their own when the FA suspended manager John Chapman with immediate effect, the reasons for which never became public. Wing-half Clarence Hilditch took over as player-manager while the club looked for a more permanent replacement, but 'Lal' was reluctant to pick himself to play, and the team suffered as a result.

Chapman's permanent successor, Herbert Bamlett, arrived later that season. He was already known to United fans as the referee who called off the club's FA Cup quarter-final tie at
Burnley
in 1909, when their team was trailing 1-0 in the midst of a blizzard. Bamlett, though, was too cold to blow the final whistle, so Charlie Roberts did the job and United went on to win the Cup that season!

Sadly Bamlett had no further impact on United's success as their manager. The team slowly slipped down the First Division, finishing 15th in 1926/27 and 18th in 1927/28, only to recover slightly to 12th in 1928/29. Joe Spence continued to score goals by the bucketload but not even he could stop United's steady decline...
 

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Part Three: 1930 - 1949

The decline that had started in the 1920's continued at the outset of the 1930's. United finished 17th in 1929/30, to fill their fans with dread.

Their fears were realised in the next season, when United made the worst start in their history by losing their first twelve league matches in a row. The dozen defeats included back-to-back thrashings at Old Trafford, 6-0 by
Huddersfield Town and then 7-4 by Newcastle United. The season was into November before Herbert Bamlett's team took their first points, by winning 2-0 at home to Birmingham City.

United eventually lost 27 of their 42 league matches in 1930/31, conceding 115 goals. Their relegation led to Bamlett bowing out, and secretary Walter Crickmer taking charge of team affairs. There was to be no immediate improvement, however. United lost their opening two matches of 1931/32, in the Second Division.

The patience of the supporters was being severely tested, and many of them did not hang around - only 3,507 turned up for the opening match. As the season went on, the situation deteriorated. By December, there was no money to pay the players wages. Bankruptcy was a real threat.

The club's saviour came in the shape of James Gibson, a manufacturer of army uniforms. He invested £30,000, paid the players and got the club back on track. He appointed a new manager, Scott Duncan, who was given money to spend. However, he did not make the most of it.

A dreadful run under
Duncan in 1933/34 took United to the brink of being relegated into the Third Division for the first time in the club's history. Survival was only secured on the last day of the season, when they won 2-0 with goals from Tom Manley and Jack Cape to send their opponents, Millwall, down instead. In that same week, Manchester City
had won the FA Cup, with a man named Matt Busby in their side.

United finished the 1934/35 season in fifth place, and then in 1935/36 claimed their first silverware of the decade. Unbeaten during the last 19 games of the campaign, they secured the Second Division Championship with a 3-2 win over Bury at Gigg Lane, thanks to goals from Manley and George Mutch.

Their end-of-season form in the Second Division suggested United would do well on their return to the First, but by Christmas they had only won four matches, including one on Christmas Day itself! Only ten wins in the whole season meant relegation, with City again providing stark contrast as the League Champions. The relegated United team included Walter Winterbottom, who would later be knighted after managing
England
for 16 years.

The yo-yoing continued as United were promoted again the next season, 1937/38, as runners-up to Aston Villa. Scott Duncan could only claim some of the credit, as he left the club in November 1937 to become manager of
Ipswich Town
. Walter Crickmer again stepped into the breach as United's caretaker manager.

The highlight of
Duncan
and Crickmer's season was the discovery of Johnny Carey, who would later be recognised as one of the greatest full-backs in football history. Playing 32 games and scoring six goals, Carey helped United to stay up this time, finishing 14th, while City took their turn to be relegated! There was no time to gloat, however - the outbreak of war put the Football League on hold again, for several years.

World War 2

The outbreak of the Second World War forced football to the very back of people's minds between 1939 and 1946. But even in the absence of League football, Old Trafford was still the focus of attention.

On
11 March 1941 the stadium was bombed during a German air raid. The attack destroyed the main stand, dressing rooms and offices. It was a devastating blow, but within a few years, there would be optimism again around the famous old ground.

It came with a man named Matt Busby, who would prove to be the most important figure in the history of Manchester United. A former
Manchester City and Liverpool
player, Busby served in the Ninth Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment where his leadership qualities shone through. These qualities did not go unnoticed by United.

Busby joined the Reds in 1945, initially on a five-year contract. Little did he know he would still be managing the club 25 years later!

Busby didn't waste any time in making his mark, altering the positions of several key players. He also founded the "Famous Five" forwards when he brought together Jimmy Delaney, Stan Pearson, Jack Rowley, Charlie Mitten and Johnny Morris.

Perhaps the most important signing Busby made, however, was on the coaching staff. Matt had met Jimmy Murphy during the war, and identified him as his perfect right-hand man. The pair formed a partnership that would see United become a power in world football.

Busby and Murphy's first step on the road to glory was to build a team that was capable of challenging for domestic honours. They succeeded almost at the first attempt, as United finished second to
Liverpool
in the first Football League campaign after the war, 1946/47. It was the club's highest placing for 36 years, and there was extra cause for optimism when the Reserves won their (Central) League Championship in the same season.

Busby's mix of young local lads and established players won their first trophy the following year, when they beat the
Blackpool
side of Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen and Harry Johnston in the 1948 FA Cup Final. It was 39 years to the day that United had previously won the Cup, in 1909.

The FA Cup was also the club's first major honour since winning the League Championship in 1911, and recapturing the title would now become the number one target for Matt Busby's men. During the first five seasons of his post-war reign, United finished second on four occasions, and fourth on the other (1949/50).

The thrill of the chase for honours brought the fans flooding back – more than one million of them passed through the turnstiles in the 1947/48 season, dragging the club out of debt. Surely these fans wouldn't have to wait long to be rewarded with the prize they all craved….
 

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Part Four: 1950 - 1959

If all good things must come to an end, it was certainly true of Matt Busby’s first post-war United side at the dawn of the 1950’s.

Dressing room dissent led to the break-up of the 1948 FA Cup winning team, with Johnny Morris departing for
Derby and Charlie Mitten exporting his wing wizardry to Colombia. Some United supporters were worried to lose star players of that calibre, but any fans that placed their faith in Busby were soon rewarded.

The great Scot’s plan was to promote the youngsters he’d been recruiting and grooming in the late 1940’s. Jackie Blanchflower and Roger Byrne were the first to emerge and be labelled ‘Babes’ by the newspapers; in their debut season 1951/52, United won the League Championship for the first time since 1911.

United 2000th game was at Old Trafford. We entertained Arsenal and won 1-0. Attendance was 55058.

Byrne, aged 21, played a big part in that success, making 24 appearances, including the final six on the wing, from where he scored seven goals. He then returned to his customary left-back role, and captained the side for four years from February 1954.

In 1955/56 and 1956/57, Byrne lifted the Championship trophy as skipper of a great young side that included several more products of Busby’s youth academy. Eddie Colman, Mark Jones and David Pegg were all first team regulars, having cut their teeth in the FA Youth Cup, which United won five years in a row from its inception in 1953.

Not all the young talent was home-grown, however. The United manager was equally happy to plunge into the transfer market, and in March 1953, he spent one pound short of thirty thousand on Tommy Taylor, the prolific
Barnsley striker. He proved to be an excellent signing, as he continued to knock in the goals for United and England
.

Another young man who excelled for club and country was Duncan Edwards. So powerful, talented and mature was the
Dudley
teenager that Matt Busby could not hold him back from United’s first team. In April 1953, he became the First Division’s youngest-ever player at the age of 16 years and 185 days.

One match that perhaps epitomised the new Busby Babes era more than most was against Arsenal at Highbury on
1 February 1958. In front of a crowd of 63,578 the Reds beat the Gunners in a nine-goal thriller with goals from Edwards, Taylor
(2), Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet.

Sadly, what was perhaps their greatest game on English soil was certainly to be the last for that particular Manchester United team. From Highbury, the Babes headed off into
Europe
to play the second leg of a tie against Red Star Belgrade. Again they won 5-4, this time on aggregate, but on the way home their celebrations were cut short by tragedy.

After refuelling in
Munich on 6 February 1958
, the United aeroplane crashed, killing twenty-two people, including seven players – Byrne, Colman, Jones, Pegg, Taylor, Geoff Bent and Liam Whelan. Duncan Edwards became the eighth player to die of his injuries, fifteen days later in a German hospital. (This is detailed in a separate thread in this section.)

The club, the city of
Manchester
and the English game entered a long period of mourning, and it seemed inconceivable that United could ever recover from such an appalling disaster.

But as Matt Busby defied the medics to recover from his crash wounds, the team bounced back and, patched up by assistant manager Jimmy Murphy, they reached the FA Cup Final in May 1958. They lost at Wembley to Bolton Wanderers, twelve months after losing the final to Aston Villa.

To continue the theme of finishing a close second, the Reds were also runners-up in the League Championship of 1958/59. By then, the team was again in a transitional period, as Matt Busby constructed another great team for another great decade.
 

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Part Five: 1960 - 1980

After building one of the greatest teams seen in
England, Matt Busby had to start all over again at the start of the 1960's. The Munich air disaster had robbed him, and football, of some of the era's greatest players. But the great manager was never one to sit still for long. Once he had recovered from his own injuries, he set about building another side to take the world by storm.

Dennis Viollet was one of the leading names within this team. In 1959/60, the
Munich
survivor broke Jack Rowley's club record by scoring 32 goals in one league season. The team in total scored 102, but they conceded too many (80) at the other end and finished in seventh place.

Viollet wasn't the only player to survive
Munich and enjoy a great career at Old Trafford; others included Bill Foulkes, and Bobby Charlton, who came through the club's youth ranks to break goalscoring records for club and country. Nobby Stiles followed the same path, from youth team to first team, while Denis Law came the more direct route, by record £115,000 transfer from Torino
.

United's form was erratic at the start of the decade, while the new names settled in, but then everything came together with a run to Wembley for the 1962/63 FA Cup Final. Matt Busby's new-look team beat
Leicester City
3-1, with two goals from David Herd and one by Denis Law.

The next season saw United build on the foundations of FA Cup success to challenge for the title but United finished second, only four points behind the champions Liverpool, to whom they lost both at home and away. The 1962/63 season was also notable for the signing and debut of George Best, the young man from
Belfast
who would become football's first superstar. It was a case of Best by name, best by nature. His incredible skill, pace and control left opponents in knots, making him a hit with the fans, while his filmstar looks made him a hit with the ladies. He returned from an trip to Spain sporting a sombrero which gave him the media nickname of "El Beatle".

In 1964/65, the famous trio of Best, Law and Charlton took United to new heights. They won the League Championship, pipping
Leeds
on goal difference, and reached the semi-finals of the European Fairs Cup and the FA Cup. Law plundered goals galore and was named the European Footballer of the Year.

The title-winning team seemed to be the finished article but they took their foot off the gas during the next season, 1965/66, losing the title to
Liverpool
again and finishing fourth. Two cup runs, with United losing in the semi-finals of both the FA and European Cups, seemed to take their toll towards the end of the season. The highlight had been the 5-1 away thrashing of Benfica in the European Cup quarter-finals, when Best had been in blistering form. In these days of a "first eleven" they were expected to play three games every 8 days with little respite. If the winter was a bad one, games piled up and took their toll on players.

In 1966/67 United were crowned League Champions again, with Law scoring 23 goals in the 36 games he played. The title success secured another season of top-level European football in 1967/68. Hibernians, FK Sarajevo, Gornik Zagreb and Real Madrid, with a thrilling semi final win in Madrid, were swept aside as the Reds marched towards the European Cup Final to be held that year at Wembley. Benfica, always a class act, put up a good fight in the final. Jaime Graca equalised Charlton's headed goal to take the game into extra-time; in fact Benfica might have won the match in normal time had Alex Stepney not saved superbly from Eusebio.

Best, Brian Kidd and Charlton totally controlled the added half-hour, scoring one goal each to crush the Portuguese champions 4-1. The European Cup was heading to Old Trafford for the first time. Just 10 years after Sir Matt had seen his dream team destroyed by tragedy, he had performed the impossible. He was knighted soon afterwards.

It was a case of after the Lord Mayor's show in 1968/69. The European Champions could only finish eleventh in the league, and they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the sixth round and the European Cup at the semi-final stage by a highly dubious referee and AC Milan. Denis Law scored what everyone saw as an equaliser but the referee ruled that it had not corssed the line. They also lost the World Club Championship 2-1 on aggregate to Estudiantes in an ill tempered game in which the South Americans threw every trick in the book of cheating at United..

Despite the anti-climatic end to the decade, United fans could feel delighted with the 1960's. Few could begrudge Sir Matt Busby's decision to retire at the end of 1968/69, after all he'd achieved.


United struggled to replace Busby, and the team struggled under Wilf McGuinness in the 1969-70 season, finishing a disappointing 8th, and following a poor start to the 1970-71 season, McGuinness was demoted back to the position of reserve team coach. McGuinness, being an ex player, never ccommanded the dressing room. Busby was coaxed back to the helm, albeit only for six months. Results got better with Busby's guidance, but he finally left the manager's chair, moving upstairs, for the last time in the summer of 1971. In the meantime, United had lost a number of high-profile players such as Nobby Stiles and Pat Crerand.

Despite approaching Celtic's European Cup-winning manager, Jock Stein, for the manager's job - Stein had agreed a verbal contract to join United, but pulled out at the last minute - Frank O'Farrell was appointed as Busby's successor. However, like McGuinness, O'Farrell only lasted less than 18 months, the only difference between the two being that O'Farrell reacted to the team's poor form by bringing in some fresh talent, most specifically Martin Buchan from Aberdeen for £125,000. Tommy Docherty became manager at the end of 1972. Docherty, or "The Doc", saved United from relegation that season but United were relegated in 1974, by which time the golden trio of Best, Law and Charlton had left the club. Denis Law had moved to
Manchester City
in the summer of 1973, and ended up scoring the goal that many people say relegated United, and politely refused to celebrate the goal with his team mates. He actually backheeled it to Stepney, who was so surprised, it passed him, into the net. Players like Lou Macari, Stewart Houston, Jimmy Greenhoff and Brian Greenhoff were brought in to replace Best, Law and Charlton, but none could live up to the stature of the three that came before who were collectively known as "The Holy Trinity".

The team won promotion at the first attempt, never losing the top spot, with a young Steve Coppell, from Tranmere Rovers, making his début towards the end of that season, and reached the FA Cup final in 1976, but were beaten by
Southampton 1-0. They reached the final again in 1977, beating Liverpool
2-1 with goals from Macari and Jimmy Greenhoff. In spite of this success and his popularity with the supporters, Docherty was sacked soon after the final when he was found to have had an affair with the physiotherapist's wife.

Dave Sexton replaced Docherty as manager in the summer of 1977, and made the team play in a more defensive formation. This style was unpopular with supporters, who were used to the attacking football preferred by Docherty and Busby. Unlike previous managers, Sexton was quiet in front of the cameras, unhappy to be in the limelight, and his insecurity clearly showed through to the fans.

Major signings under Sexton included Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen, goalkeeper Gary Bailey and Ray Wilkins, but Sexton's defensive United failed to break out of mid-table obscurity, only once finishing in the top two, and only reached the FA Cup final once, losing to Arsenal 3-2 after coming back to 2-2 from 2-0 down. Alan Sunderland scoring the heartbreaker. Because of this lack of trophies, Sexton was sacked in 1981, even though he won his last seven games in charge.
 

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Part Six: 1980 - 1989

Manchester United made a poor start to the 1980's. In January 1980, Tottenham knocked them out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle. In early March, Dave Sexton's side was thrashed 6-0 at
IpswichTown.

However, Sexton and his team refused to acknowledge any vultures that might have circled overhead – instead they recovered to win eight of their last ten league games, and finish just two points behind
Liverpool
in the title race.

United produced another blistering finish at the end of the following season, 1980/81, when they won their last seven league games in a row. This time, however, they could only finish eighth in the table – a position which the club's board could not tolerate. Sexton was sacked on
30 April 1981
, after four seasons in the hotseat.

Sexton’s replacement, flamboyant Ron Atkinson, brought in Mick Brown as assistant manager and Eric Harrison as youth coach. But it was his on-the-field acquisitions that really excited the fans. He broke the British transfer record to recruit Bryan Robson from his old club West Bromwich Albion for £1.5m and he spent around a third of that again to add another ex-Albion man, Remi Moses, to the United squad.

In midfield the new arrivals wonderfully complemented the finesse of Ray Wilkins, the ball-playing
England star. But still there was something missing. United needed a forward who could match the strike rate of Ian Rush at Liverpool
, who again won the Championship in 1982, 1983 and 1984. Atkinson’s men were never far behind, finishing third or fourth in every season of his reign. But they were never that close either.

The domestic cups offered United their best chances of silverware, and in 1983, they reached Wembley in both competitions. Liverpool beat them 2-1 after extra-time to win the Milk (League) Cup, while little-fancied Brighton & Hove Albion provided the opposition in the FA Cup final. Big Ron’s Reds were expected to stroll it against the Seagulls, but as always seems to be the case with little fancied teams, they found
Brighton
to be a tough nut to crack and the showpiece match finished 2-2. In fact, the underdogs would surely have won the Cup, had United goalkeeper Gary Bailey not blocked Gordon Smith’s shot in the last minute of extra-time. The nation braced itself for a televised repeat five days later, but this time, Brighton could not match United who stormed to a 4-0 replay win with goals from Robson (2), Arnold Muhren and Norman Whiteside.

Whiteside’s habit of rising to the big occasion was never more gratefully received than in 1985, when he curled in the only goal of the FA Cup Final to beat Everton 1-0. United had earlier been reduced to ten men by the dismissal of Kevin Moran, who had formed a great defensive partnership in the 1980’s with Paul McGrath.

It was Atkinson’s second FA Cup success in three seasons, but eighteen months later he became the fourth successive United boss to be sacked, for his inability to break Merseyside’s monopoly of the League Championship. Not even ten straight wins at the start of 1985/86 could lead him to the Holy Grail.

In November 1986, Manchester United at last found and appointed a proven winner and the whole history of United took an upturn. As
Aberdeen manager, Alex Ferguson had claimed every prize that Scotland
had to offer, not to mention the added bonus of the European Cup Winners Cup when his team defied overwhelming odds to beat Real Madrid! He single handedly broke the "old firm" monopoly of Celtic & Rangers, sweeping all before him. Ferguson never forgot his happy time at Aberdeen and took United back there for friendlies and testimonials.

Ferguson clearly had the talent for the job, but he also needed time to turn United round. He had inheritted a football club with little in the way of cash flow. He was told to sell to buy.The club remained patient as the Reds finished eleventh in 1986/87 and again in 1988/89. After all, the season in between, 1987/88, had offered encouraging signs as United finished second to
Liverpool
by winning eight and drawing two of their last ten games.

The promise of that season, and some of the signings he had made, would soon be showing results by Mr Alex Ferguson.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Part Seven: 1990 -1999

The dawn of the 1990's saw Alex Ferguson collecting his first silverware as Manchester United manager, and
Liverpool winning their last League Championship with an ageing team. The tide was turning. Dominance was now to ride her chariot travel along the East Lancs Road in the direction of Old Trafford.

United's 4000th game was at the City Ground Nottingham on 2nd May 1990, we got beat 4-0 before an attendance of 21186.

Fergie's first FA Cup, achieved after a replay against
Crystal Palace
, seemed at the time to be a stand-alone success, one that possibly saved his job after another poor season in the League. It seems, however, that Mark Robins winnig goal in the third round against forest and Lee Martin's winning goal against Palace lit the fuse for an explosion of unprecedented success.

First and foremost, winning the FA Cup in 1990 allowed United to make their return to European competition after an absence of five years. Far from being rusty, they went all the way to the final of the European Cup Winners Cup in
Rotterdam where their opponents were Barcelona, the former club of United striker Mark Hughes who had left United, gone to Barcelona for 2 seasons, then a short spell at Bayern Munich before returning to United hungrier and better than ever. Two goals by Hughes sealed the match 2-1 in Fergie's favour in May 1991, 23 years after the club's previous triumph in Europe
.

The other long wait, for that elusive League Championship, very nearly ended in April 1992. The Reds had already won Fergie's third trophy in March, the League Cup, and were in a two-horse race with
Leeds. Liverpool
were out of the running, but they still had a say in the destiny of the title, beating United 2-0 at Anfield to ruin their challenge. A player at Leeds United proved the pivot in which Leeds beat United to the Football League Title by 1 point, Eric Cantona. The 1991/92 title would be remembered in Manchester as the title that United lost, rather than the one that Leeds actually won. Leeds, after all, were not the greatest of football powers in the 1990's and their star quality was further reduced when they allowed one of their best players, Eric Cantona, to join Manchester United in December 1992.

Legend has it that Martin Edwards, the Chairman, was chatting in his office to Alex Ferguson when the phone rang, it was the Leeds Chairman. The Leeds Chairman wanted to buy Denis Irwin, the left back United had signed from Oldham. Ferguson wrote something on a piece of paper and passed it to Edwards. One word "Cantona". Martin Edwards looked at Ferguson and told the Leeds Chairman that he was not selling Irwin but would be interested in purchasing Cantona for £1m. The sale was quickly agreed and the rest, as they say, is history. This was to be Leeds United's biggest mistake in history.

In selling Eric Cantona to Old Trafford, the
Yorkshire
club practically handed over the keys to the League Championship. The Frenchman brought that little extra bit of magic that had been missing from United's previous campaigns and was an instant hit with the Mancunian faithful, scoring nine goals to help the Reds win their first title in 26 years. This was United's first title in 26 years and Cantona's second in a row, with two different clubs. This was also the year that saw the start of the careers of the likes of the Neville Brothers; Gary & Phil, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and others from the now famous class of '92.

In the following season 1993/94, the team virtually picked itself en route to an historic League and FA Cup Double, with Cantona sporting the number seven shirt that had been Bryan Robson’s property for so long. The number one, meanwhile, was undoubtedly Peter Schmeichel, arguably the best goalkeeper ever seen at Old Trafford.

Cantona’s eight-month absence from January 1995, following his clash with an insulting fan at
Crystal Palace
, proved to be United’s undoing as they tried to defend their Double. They lost the title by one point to Blackburn Rovers and then lost the FA Cup final by one goal to Everton. The former champions were hampered at Wembley by an injury to Steve Bruce, the brave captain who was a defensive rock in the early 1990’s. It is indicative that Cantona was held in such high esteem that fans refused to blame him for the previous season's apparent demise.

Bruce also missed the following year's FA Cup Final, at the end of the 1995/96 season, but this time the result was rather different.
Liverpool
stood between United and a first-ever ‘Double Double’ and were holding out for extra-time, when Cantona struck home a sublime shot in the 86th minute. The French skipper had throughout the season been an inspiration to the talented young players in the team, including David Beckham and Gary Neville. United had also stopped Liverpool from the same double, relegating them to second in the league and losing finalists at Wembley.

In May 1997, Cantona helped the club to its fourth League Championship of the decade. It was to be his last, as he surprisingly retired from football later that same month. He had become disillusioned with some of the business practises of Manchester United PLC off the field, and in the way they marketted him as a commodity and not a player. A very honest player, he could not accept this. It is worthy of note that even 10 years later, his name still resounds from the fans at Old Trafford.

The shock waves of Eric’s decision seemed to last for a whole year, as the Reds went empty-handed in 1997/98 while Arsenal won the Double. Again, injuries to key players, especially Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane were cited for United’s downfall. Again, the fans did not blame Eric.

The influence that Giggs could have on results was never more apparent than in the 1998/99 FA Cup semi-final replay, when he scored perhaps the goal of the decade – a solo run and finish that left Arsenal's defenders grasping at thin air. He collected a stray pass from an Arsenal player, prossibly Bergkamp and took off on a mazy run that saw him dribble passed defender after defender before lofting the ball, over Seaman in goal, into the far side of the goal from the left. Peter Schmeichel also saved a penalty from Bergkamp after Phil Neville was ruled to have committed a foul in the penalty area. It booked United's place in their fifth FA Cup final of the 1990's, and this time they won it, beating Newcastle United 2-0 with goals by Paul Scholes and substitute Teddy Sheringham. Argueably the easiest final United ever played in. Newcastle, with Shearer up front, never looked like troubling Manchester at all during the entire 90 minutes. It could have been a lot more goals than the two scored.

That result clinched United's third Double, six days after the Premiership title had been wrapped by Andy Cole's goal against Tottenham at Old Trafford. But still there was more to come from a remarkable campaign.

After an epic Champions League semi-final against Juventus, when Keane inspired the team to fight back from 2-0 down in the second leg, scoring a fabilous header for the first goal, United marched into an epic final against Bayern Munich in
Barcelona
. Although Roy Keane had been booked in this game, knowing it would mean he would not be playing in the final, he inspired United throughout and was possibly the greatest example for a captain ever seen on a football field.

United's attempts to win the European Cup for the first time since 1968 looked to be doomed when Bayern took an early lead through Mario Basler and defended it with typical German resilience. But then, in injury time, following a double substitution of Teddy Sheringham & Ole Gunnar Solskjaer late in the game, the Reds produced one of the most stunning revivals in sporting history – Sheringham equalised, turning in a shot by Giggs and and moments later his fellow substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fired in the winner, from a Sheringham nod on, from a Beckham corner, to make the score 2-1. United had won the Treble; their manager Alex Ferguson was subsequently knighted as his fans around the globe basked in the glory. The Bayern Munich players were reduced to kneeling on the grass, heads on the surface, banging fists into the ground.

The Treble became a Quadruple later in the year when Sir Alex Ferguson's men travelled to
Tokyo to compete for the Inter-Continental Cup. Keane's goal against Palmeiras of Brazil bestowed upon United the title of World Club Champions. Officially, at the end of the millennium, the biggest football club in the world had also become the best in the world! Could Ferguson carry on into the 21st Century?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Part Eight: 2000 - 2007

Manchester United started the new decade, century and millennium in typical pioneering fashion. They entered a brand new competition – the FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil – but at the expense of their participation in the FA Cup, of which they were the holders. A controversial issue at the time. The Government had been approached by FIFA to provide a team for this competition, but the dates involved clashed with the domestic FA cup. It was decided to ask United to forego their place in the cup in favour of the competition, as ambassadors for England. The storm that followed ensured the backing away of the government, leaving United, alone, to take the ensuing flak from the media. Darlington were the team selected at random to fill United's position in round 3.

The January jaunt to South America didn't result in any silverware – beating the Brazilian sides in their own backyard and stifling climate was a bridge too far – but it gave the Reds valuable relaxation time in the sun. Rejuvenated by this, they raced ahead of their rivals in the title race when they returned to England
. They achieved their sixth Premiership title early, in April, and still without a convincing replacement for Peter Schmeichel.

Several goalkeepers including Mark Bosnich tried and failed to establish themselves during the 1999/2000 season. So it was hardly surprising when Fabien Barthez joined United in July 2000, fresh from adding the European Championships crown to his World Cup winners medal.

The eccentric but brilliant French goalkeeper helped United to win their third successive title in 2000/01, a feat that had previously been achieved by only a handful of clubs in England. Liverpool
had been the last team to do it, in 1982, 1983 and 1984, but this was under the supervision of two different managers – Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan.

Sir Alex Ferguson had been at the helm for all three of United's back-to-back titles, and was therefore the first manager in English football to achieve the hat-trick. On the back of this latest trophy, Fergie announced he would be retiring from management at the end of the 2001/02 season. Meanwhile, his right-hand man Steve McClaren announced he would be leaving immediately to replace Bryan Robson as Middlesbrough
manager. (McClaren went to to manage England in 2006/7, but only survived a short time).

Ferguson
filled the gap left by McClaren by promoting ex-players Jim Ryan and Mike Phelan to the posts of assistant manager and first team coach respectively. But Sir Alex then created another troublesome void by offloading star defender Jaap Stam to Lazio in a transfer that took everyone by surprise, including the player! This was due to comments made in a book recently published, and Ferguson took offence and, within hours, had sold Stam.

One of Barthez's World Cup-winning team-mates, Laurent Blanc, joined United on a free transfer to play in Stam's position and forge a new partnership with Wes Brown, Gary Neville or Ronny Johnsen. Many people assumed Blanc would be Fergie's last signing as United manager, especially after the expensive acquisitions of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron. But Sir Alex splashed the cash again in January 2002, to sign Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan from Independiente.

It was difficult to see where Forlan would fit in, given that van Nistelrooy had just set a new Premiership record by scoring in eight consecutive league games. United had won all those games to rejoin the title race, having previously lost more matches (six by early December) than was usual for their trail-blazing standards. Forlan was never going to settle into the squad and played a peripheral role for a couple of years before being sold to Valencia where he won the golden boot!! Fate is a strange bedfellow! His main claim to fame, and for which he will always be fondly remembered by United fans, is the two goals he scored at Anfield against liverpool.

Manchester United went on to win that year, and claimed the 2002/03 Title. Next Season , two of arguably the best midfielders in the world, Juan Sebastian Veron, midfield star of Argentina, and David Beckham left the club for London and Madrid making many fans angry with their manager. Ferguson had become annoyed at the media circus that always surrounded Beckham, in particular when he courted and married former Spice Girl, pop star, "Posh" Spice. His decision, in hindsight, was spot on, as David Beckham was becoming faded on the field, only producing his expertise in sporadic moments in the odd game. His replacement was soon to turn the spotlight well and truly full on Old Trafford again.

United however tried to infuse fresh players into the squad, with the addition of wonderkid Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon, replacement for David Beckham and the new incumbent of the famous 7 Shirt; a confident midfielder in Djemba-Djemba and Kleberson, not to mention the safe hands of American keeper Tim Howard. Although Djemba Djemba and Kleberson failed to impress and soon left the club.

The 2003/04 Season belonged to Arsenal and United finished a distant third falling behind Chelsea
. This was the lowest United had ever been at the end of a Premiership season. United have also failed to impress in the CL, losing to Porto and Milan in the knockout phases and finishing at the bottom of the group phase in successive seasons.

Since then, Chelsea had "bought" their way to two back to back titles, in 2004/05 and 2005/06 with the aquisition of Chelsea by Russian Billionaire, Roman Abramovitch. Their titles were sour, many fans pouring scorn on a club that had completely bought practically two whole teams "off the shelf". During this time United raided Everton for one of their young up and coming goal scoring machines, Wayne Rooney.


The season 2006/2007 saw the tables turned with United having an excellent domestic season winning the Premiership title again. But in Europe, AC Milan knocked United out in the Semi finals. This season also marked 20 years of Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. United signed Anderson, a Brazilian midfielder, England International Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich and Nani, a young left winger, from Sporting Lisbon.

Season 2007/2008 became underway with United having a slow start before gaining momentum, topping the league in October. United actually conceded no goals in the league in September. Chelsea, or Chelski as they became unofficially known could not keep up the chase and Abramovitch, to the surprise of many, parted company with his manager and appointed relatively unknown Israeli to the position. At this point Chelsea visited Old Trafford and lost 2-0. Arsenal were the early front runners heading towards Christmas. United currently have 20 internationals in their line up.

The 5000th game for United was on 8th December 2007 v Derby County at Old Trafford. United won 4-1.

At the turning point of the year a win against West Ham at Upton Park would have seen us cross into 2008 on top of the Premiership, unfortunately we went down 2-1 after being 1-0 up. Arsenal won pushing United off top slot. In the third round of the FA cup United travelled to Villa Park and came away with a 2-0 win.


2008 continues after Salford Reds posts. I had to delete some posts for continuity's sake ................
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This from Geordiemancunian in original thread:

Sir Alex Ferguson is the most undesputed successful manager in British football history – winning 18 major trophies during his time in charge of the Reds. Yet despite almost two decades at the Old Trafford helm he remains focused on increasing that tally, bringing yet more silverware to Manchester United.

The Reds boss enjoyed a playing career north of the border that saw him take in spells with Queen's Park, St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Glasgow Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United. But it is not for his playing of the game that Sir Alex was to become a success.

Following a spell out of the game he moved into coaching, taking up the role of manager of East Stirlingshire, St Mirren then Aberdeen. It was his time at Pittodrie where he earned his reputation as a top coach. He broke the Glasgow dominance of Scottish football to lead Aberdeen to three Scottish titles, four Scottish cups, one League Cup and one European Cup Winners' Cup.

Following the sacking of Ron Atkinson as manager of Manchester United, the Old Trafford hierarchy moved quickly for his services. They got their man on 6 November 1986.

Ferguson inherited a dispirited team of underachievers who had consistently, to their supporters' discontent, failed to break Liverpool's domination. Stuck in the bottom four of the Division One table, Ferguson immediately set about attempting to stave off the very real threat of relegation. Without resorting to the transfer market, he guided United up the table to and eleventh place finish.

By now it was clear to Ferguson that he faced a major job in turning the club around. United were an entertaining side but one that seemed unable to cope with the more physical aspects of League football. In his second season the Reds fared better finishing second behind Liverpool, but the position painted a false picture. The turning point came in the 1989/90 season.

Following a run of games in which the Reds were drawn away in every round, United picked up their first silverware of the Ferguson era. Lee Martin scoring the only goal in a final replay against Crystal Palace to in the FA Cup.

This first trophy opened the flood gates. The European Cup Winners' Cup was won the following season in Rotterdam, Barcelona defeated 2-1 thanks to a brace from Mark Hughes. Then in 1991/02 the League Cup was added to United's list of honours.

Sadly the title remained elusive. It was the Holy Grail to United fans, the 26 championships free years being exacerbated by Liverpool's dominance of the domestic and European game.

In 1992/93 the long wait for the League championship came to an end. The Reds, inspired by £1m signing Eric Cantona, pipping Aston Villa in the final weeks of the season.

The shackles were broken: the double followed in 1993/94, the double-Double (with ‘kids') in 1995/96, and another title in 1997. Finally United were matching off-field might with on-field success. Liverpool's dominance was well and truly over.

Sir Alex's greatest achievement came in 1998/99. No side before or since has achieved a treble haul of Premiership title, FA Cup and European Cup. On an unforgettable night in Barcelona his decision to throw on substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer assured history was made. The pair scoring injury-time goals to win the Champions League and complete the treble.

Ferguson was knighted following that success and some suggested he should retire, believing his desire would wane following the realisation of a dream. Not a bit of it. Another title followed in 1999/2000 and he made it three-in-row in 2000/01. His eighth Premiership duly arrived in 2002/03; his fourth FA Cup a year later came against Millwall in Cardiff.

The Reds had by now entered a period of rebuilding. The side of homegrown players he'd first put together in 1995/96 was now breaking up and he'd recruited new stars like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, brought in to spark a new era of success.

Sir Alex believes that the Carling Cup win of 2005/06 – where the Reds beat Wigan Athletic 4-0 - may well provide the catalyst for a new era of success. And whilst Chelsea may well be the dominant force in the transfer market, Sir remains as hungry as ever for more silverware.

So hungry in fact, that he has put on hold plans for retirement and has set his sights on making Manchester United English football's - and Europe's - premier force again.

Source: Manutd.com


This from Salford Red:

This is a brilliant thread for those who love United and care about their history and should be a must read for everyone who comes on here.:)
Just like to add a couple of quick things.

Newton Heath applied several times to join the football league, each time being rejected, untill they were admitted in 1892.
They first entered the FA cup in the 1886/87 season and their first game against Fleetwood Rangers ended in a 2 - 2 scoreline but they were thrown out by the FA . :eek:
Normal time ended 2 - 2 and the referee decided extra time be played, Newton Heath said it should be a replay and refused to play extra time. The match was awarded to Fleetwood.

A great site to bookmark is www.stretfordend.co.uk/
14,000 pages containing every bit of information, facts and figures you could ever need.
Hope it helps spread the word.

From Carly: First official league game was 'v' Sunderland in the Football Alliance, won 4-1 with a crowd of 3000........

And, finally, from kingstreet, the reason for the rewrite: I'm sorry 1970 to 1979 is missing from the history. Docherty, the FA Cup Finals, Relegation, Division 2 all made the 70s easily the best and most interesting decade to start following United!
 
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Red Devil said:
Our first game was 21st Sept 1889; Sunderland; and won 4-1. But, 3 years prior, played in the FA Cup on 30th Oct 1886.

The club was founded in 1878 and probably spent the formative years playing locally against opposition drawn from immediate area and other railway teams.

At present I can find no records of the local years 1878 - 1889 and certainly not a definitive date of starting.
You are going to love this then :D ( it doesn't answer the exact
date United were formed though ).
Some fantastic info that i only found tonight and have
never ever seen before on any site or forum.


I have found much information as to names etc due to a family tree research i have studided last year. Mr Bert Gregory who acted as a groundsman on the small field on North Road in Newton Heath, passed down stories tell of, " a small field ,a muddy bog "sand had to be layed onto the field just to try and make it playable ,this is where Newton Heath first played there home games,the team players belive it or not had to change into their football kit in a local public house and walk from the pub to the field and play the game,(no fancy changing rooms here) the Three Crowns pub on Oldham Road.
Newton Heath remained at their North Road ground for fifteen years from 1878 to 1893, a year after entering the Football League, before moving to a new home at Bank Street in nearby Clayton. . Newton Heath were a local Manchester team who started playing in 1878, a group of railway workers for Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways. In 1885 they turned professional and were admitted to the Football Alliance after their efforts to join the Football league failed. Eventually they were admitted in 1892 when the Division one was expanded from 14 to 16 clubs and a second Division added. Newton Heath’s first league game took place on September 3rd 1892 against Blackburn rovers, the attendance was 8,000 , with Newton Heath losing 4-3. A Scot named Robert Donaldson became the first player to score a league goal for Newton Heath which became Manchester United. (He later transferred to Luton Town) Newton Heath’s first season turned out to be a poor, with only a victory in a relegation/promotion playoff game saved them from dropping into the lower division. Their first home game was against Burnley and the result was a 1-1 tie. Heavy defeats followed from Everton (6-0) Burnley (4-0), West Brom (4-0) Then came an amazing triumph a victory over Wolves 10-1 at the North road Ground, but more defeats followed and they finished their first season in 16th place (last) with 18 points and conceding 85 goals. They won their playoff game 5-2 against Stoke City in a replay after the first game turned out a 1-1, the game was played at North Road in front of 4,000.




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SOME PLAYERS INFO I FOUND.

James McNaught ; (June 8, 1870 – March 1919) was a Scottish footballer who was born in Dumbarton. He played as a half back. He joined Newton Heath from Linfield F.C. in February 1892. He would leave the club in May 1898 for Tottenham Hotspur. During his Newton Heath career, he would play in 157 games and score 12 goals

Name: James Rankin McNaught
Position: Half-Back
Birthdate: 08/06/1870
Birthplace: Dumbarton, Scotland
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 10st 3lbs
Transferred from: Linfield, 02/1893, £
Previous clubs: Linfield
Debut for Newton Heath: 02/09/1893 v Burnley (North Road) 3-2 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Tottenham Hotspur, 05/1898, £
Passed Away: 03/1919


Total Apps 140 ... FA Cup Apps 17 ...

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Fred Erentz ; (January 1, 1870– 1938 in Dundee) was a Scottish footballer. Erentz played for Dundee Our Boys, before being transferred to Newton Heath, in June 1892. Originally a half-back, he quickly changed to a left-back role. Debuting on September 3, 1892 against Blackburn, he scored nine goals in 303 appearances for the Heathens before retiring in June 1902, a decade after he joined the club. His departure came around the time that financially-troubled Newton Heath were renamed Manchester United. Making 303 appearances for Manchester United, he is the No. 46 most capped player in the team's history.


Name: Frederick Charles Erentz
Position: Full-Back
Birthdate: 03/1871
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 12st 8lbs
Transferred from: Dundee Old Boys, 06/1892, £
Previous clubs: Dundee Old Boys
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Retired from game due to knee injury 06/1902
Passed Away: 06/04/1938

Total Apps 280 ..FA Cup Apps 23 ...

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George Perrins ; was a hefty right half-back and tackled with a great deal of force. In 1893, The Birmingham Gazette labelled him 'dirty', causing Newton Heath to sue and win one farthing in damages. However, they were also forced to pay large legal costs which led to the club's bankruptcy

Name: George Perrins
Position: Half-Back
Birthdate: 24/02/1873
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 11st
Transferred from: Birmingham St George, 07/1892, £
Previous clubs: Birmingham St George
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Luton Town, 07/1896, £

Total Apps 92 ...FA Cup 6 ....

....................................................................................................................

Name: James Brown
Position: Full-Back
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Scotland
Height:
Weight:
Transferred from: Dundee Our Boys, 06/1892, £
Previous clubs: Dundee Our Boys
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Dundee, 08/1893,

Total Apps 7 ....FA Cup 0 ...

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Name: James Warner
Position: Goalkeeper
Birthdate: 1863
Birthplace: Lozells, Birmingham, England
Height:
Weight:
Transferred from: Aston Villa, 07/1892, £
Previous clubs: Milton FC, Aston Villa
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to Newton Heath: Transferred to Walsall Town Swifts, 09/1893

Total Apps 22 ..FA Cup 0.......

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Name: John Ernest Clements
Position: Full-Back
Birthdate: 1867
Birthplace: Marnham, Nottinghamshire, England
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 12st 2lbs
Transferred from: Notts County, 06/1891, £
Previous clubs: Notts County
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/10/1891 v Manchester City (North Road) 5-1 (FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Rotherham Town, 08/1894,

Total Apps 36 ...FA Cup 4 ...........

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William Stuart ; (11 February 1872 – July 1945) was a Scottish footballer who was born in Coupar Angus. He played as an inside-forward before switching to his favoured half-back position. He joined Newton Heath from Warwick County in July 1889. At Newton Heath, which was renamed Manchester United in 1902, he scored a goal in the club's first Football Alliance match against Sunderland Albion on 21 September 1889. On 7 April 1890, he scored Newton Heath's first ever hat-trick against Small Heath. In the 1892-93 season, he helped the club gain League status. After scoring 23 goals in 149 appearances for the Heathens, he left the club in May 1895 for Luton Town. At the end of the career, he joined Thames Ironworks

Name: William S Stewart
Birthdate: 11/02/1872
Birthplace: Coupar Angus, Pertshire Scotland
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 13st
Transferred from: Warwickshire County, 07/1889, £
Previous clubs: Warwickshire County
Debut for Newton Heath: 04/10/1890 v Higher Walton (North Road) 2-0 (FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Luton Town, 05/1895

Total Apps 76 ....FA Cup 9 .....

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Alfred Farman ; (born April 1869 in Kings Norton, Birmingham) was an English footballer who played as a forward. He played for Birmingham Excelsior, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers before joining Newton Heath in September 1889. He was in the Heathens' team that first joined the Football Alliance in the 1889-90 season, and made his debut on 9 November 1889 against Long Eaton Rangers, in which he scored a goal. At Newton Heath, which was later renamed Manchester United, he scored 53 goals in 121 appearances, before leaving in June 1895

Name: Alfred H Farman
Position: Forward
Birthdate: 04/1869
Birthplace: Kings Norton, Birmingham, England
Height:
Weight:
Transferred from: Bolton Wanderers, 09/1889, £
Previous clubs: Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers
Debut for Newton Heath: 18/01/1889 v Preston North End (A) 1-6 (FA Cup 1st Round)
Farewell to United: Transferred to , 06/1895

Total Apps 51 .............FA Cup 7 ......

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Name: James Coupar
Position: Forward
Birthdate: 1869
Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 10st 4lbs
1st spell Transferred from: Dundee Our Boys, 06/1892, £
1st farewell to United: Transferred to St Johnstone, 07/1893, £
2nd spell was transferred from: Swindon Town, 09/1901, £
Previous clubs: Dundee Our Boys, St. Johnstone, Rotherham Town, Luton Town, Swindon Town, Linfield
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to ?, 06/1902,

Total Apps 32 ...FA Cup 0 ....

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Robert "Bob" Donaldson ; was a Scottish football player. He played as a forward.

Donaldson played for Airdrieonians .. and Blackburn Rovers before joining Manchester United in 1892. He scored 66 goals in 147 appearances for United. The first of these goals, scored against Blackburn Rovers on September 3, 1892, was also United's first ever league goal.

Name: Robert Donaldson
Position: Forward
Birthdate: 27/08/1871
Birthplace: Greenend, Coatbridge, Scotland
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 12st 8lbs
Transferred from: Blackburn Rovers
Previous clubs: Airdrieonians, Blackburn Rovers
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to Newton Heath: Transferred to Luton Town, 12/1897

Total Apps 131 .....FA Cup 16 ......

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Name: Adam Carson
Position: Forward
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Scotland
Height:
Weight:
Transferred from: Glasgow Thistle, 06/1892, £
Previous clubs: Glasgow Thistle
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Ardwick, 03/1893

Total Apps 13 ... FA Cup 0 ...

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Name: William Mathieson
Position: Forward
Birthdate: 1870
Position: Forward
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 12st
Transferred from: Clydesdale FC, 06/1892, £
Previous clubs: Glasgow Thistle, Clydesdale FC
Debut for Newton Heath: 03/09/1892 v Blackburn Rovers (A) 3-4 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to Rotherham Town, 12/1895

Total Apps 10 ....FA Cup 0 ...

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Name: Thomas Fitzsimmons
Position: Forward
Birthdate: 21/10/1870
Birthplace: Annbank, Ayrshire, Scotland
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 12st
Transferred from: Annbank, 11/1892, £
Previous clubs: Annbank
Debut for Newton Heath: 19/11/1892 v Aston Villa (North Road) 2-0 (League Division One)
Farewell to Newton Heath: Transferred to Annbank FC, 06/1894

Total Apps 27 ... FA Cup 1 ....

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Name: William Hood
Position: Forward
Birthdate:
Birthplace:
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 11st
Transferred from: ?, 1891, £
Debut for Newton Heath: 01/10/1892 v West Bromwich Albion (A) 0-0 (League Division One)
Farewell to Newton Heath: Transferred to ?, 06/1894

Total Apps 33 ....FA Cup 3 ...

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Name: James Hendry
Position: Forward
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Scotland
Height:
Weight:
Transferred from: Alloa Athletic, 09/1892, £
Previous clubs: Alloa Athletic
Debut for Newton Heath: 15/10/1892 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (North Road) 10-1 (League Division One)
Farewell to United: Transferred to ?, 06/1893

Total Apps 2 ...FA Cup 0......


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The first UNITED TEAM to play in the league "Newton Heath" 1892/3​

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Discussion Starter #15
2008 -

At the turning point of the year a win against West Ham at Upton Park would have seen us cross into 2008 on top of the Premiership, unfortunately we went down 2-1 after being 1-0 up. Arsenal won pushing United off top slot. In the third round of the FA cup United travelled to Villa Park and came away with a 2-0 win.

In the 4th Round of the FA Cup, United beat Spurs 3-1 and, in the 5th Round beat Arsenal 4-0. Portsmouth came to Old Trafford in the Quarter finals and went home with a ticket for the semi final in their pockets after beating United 1-0. Portsmouth went to to reach Wembley with Cardiff.

Meanwhile in the league, United made a few milestones of their own with a 100% record in the league, with no goals conceded. In February United started with a 1-1 draw against Spurs followed by Manchester city completing a double, a very rare event, with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. After seeing off Spurs in the Fa Cup and drawing away at Lyon in the Champions League, United finished the month in great style with a 5-1 drubbing of Newcastle on their own turf.

March again saw United conceding no goals in the league; the third such month this season. Fulham away 3-0; Derby away 1-0; Bolton at home 2-0 and Liverpool (a double) and 3-0. United finished off the season by beating improving Aston Villa 4-0 at home. April started off with a 2-0 win away at Roma in the quarter final of the Champions League and United began to appear to be unstoppable. But a 2-2 draw away at Middlesbrough brought them down to earth with a bump in a game United can consider themselves lucky to have gained a point from. Roma at home 1-0 and Arsenal 2-1 followed by Blackburn away 1-1 saw United continue along the top of the Premiership.

In the Champions League United visited Barcelona in the semi final (the other semi final was between Chelsea and Liverpool). Barcelona dominated the game but it ended up 0-0. 3 days later, an early kick off on Saturday lunchtime saw United going down 2-1 at Chelsea to bring the two teams level on points. United's much bigger goal difference keeping them on top slot. Barcelona came to Old Trafford on the following Tuesday evening and United took a lead via Paul Scholes in the 15th minute against the run of play it must be said .... at half time United led by that solitary goal. Barcelona had the lions share of the half. In the second half Barcelona threw everything at United but the defence stood solid and Paul Schole's goal was the nail in Barcalona's coffin. United travelled to Moscow for a first time all england, all premiership, final!

The game went pretty much according to predictions. Both teams kept it tight, United went ahead in the first half thanks to a goal from Ronaldo. Lampard equalised on the stroke of half time and, after extra time, the game went into penalties. Ronaldo, of all people, missed for United but John Terry, slipped as he was about to convert the winning penalty and sliced it wide right. Sudden death penalties and Anelka had his shot saved by Van der Sar to see Manchester United lift their third European Cup. Due to Health & Safety fears of the council, United's intended parade through Manchester was cancelled and the team were spirited away from the airport into the night leaving thousands of fans at the airport.

2009 - 2009

United began the season with a tour of South Africa. They first played Kaizer Chiefs, drawing 1-1 and then beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 with a goal from youngster Lee Martin who was put through with a header from another United youngster, Frazier Campbell. In the final game of thie tour they beat Kaizer Chiefs. On route back to the UK, United stopped off in Nigeria to play a one off game against Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth team, winning 2-1.
 
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