Full Name: Manchester United Football Club
Manchester United represent the only football club in the world with an honest chance at challenging Real Madrid for the title of "biggest club in the world". While they can't match the Spanish side's record haul of European Cup and Champions League titles nor their impressive number of domestic titles, they can surely challenge (and probably surpass) Madrid in the popularity and name recognition department. From humble origins as a railway workers team, the Red Devils have evolved into a hugely successful football club with trend-setting business acumen that is rarely outside the spotlight.
The stadium is located near the Old Trafford cricket ground in the borough of Trafford, on the southwest side of Manchester just outside the city limits. The Red Devils played for eight seasons in the 1940s at Manchester City's Maine Road stadium because of war damage to Old Trafford.
Previous stadiums: North Road (1880-93), Bank Street (1893-1910), Old Trafford (1910-41), Maine Road (1941-49).
Manchester United Logo:
Manchester United's emblem is similar to the coat of arms of the city of Manchester. In 1973 the three yellow diagonal stripes on a red background (found in the city's coat of arms) were replaced by a red devil on a yellow background, symbolic of Manchester United's Red Devils nickname.
Manchester United Logo History:
Manchester United Nicknames:
Manchester United's most common nickname is The Red Devils, which actually goes back to the Manchester rugby club Salford, who were given the nickname Les Diables Rouges (The Red Devils) during an unbeaten 1934 tour of France. It was later adopted by supporters of Manchester United for their own similarly colored club. The club are also known as simply United or Man United.
First Tier League Titles
Second Tier League Titles
Domestic Cup Titles
Titles marked * were shared with another club.
Manchester United Football Club History:
The Red Devils (who initially wore green and gold) were founded in 1878 under the name Newton Heath (L&YR) FC - the works team of Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath, a neighborhood of East Manchester. Their first ground was named North Road, located in Newton Heath on a road of the same name (though it's now named Northampton Road). The North Road ground was actually owned by Manchester Cathedral and only rented out to the football club.
These early years were spent in local competitions such as the Lancashire Cup and Manchester & District Cup and their debut at the national level didn't come until the 1886-87 FA Cup. In 1889 Newton Heath began league competion as founder members of the Football Alliance. The league lasted only three seasons before being absorbed into the Football League and Newton Heath joined that same season, 1892-93.
In the summer of 1893, after increasing friction with the North Bank ground's owners, Newton Heath were evicted and moved to a new ground in another eastern Manchester suburb, Clayton. This new ground - Bank Street - was just a few miles south of North Road and interestingly only a few hundred yards from the City of Manchester Stadium where United rivals Man City are now based.
At the turn of the century Newton Heath were in serious financial difficulty and near extinction when a most unlikely series of events turned their fortunes for the better. The club hosted a fundraiser and in the midst of this fundraiser a dog with a money tin attached to its collar (a major attraction of the fundraiser apparently) escaped. The dog somehow found its way to the home of John Henry Davies, a local brewer. Davies was intrigued by the story of the club and decided to invest. Soon after Davies had the club pushing for a bigger profile and in 1902 Newton Heath was no more, its name changed to Manchester United (chosen over Manchester Celtic and Manchester Central) and the famous red and white colors adopted.
Eight years later United were on the move again, this time to the borough of Trafford on the southwest side of Manchester, just outside the city limits. The new stadium had a much larger capacity than Bank Street and the increased number of supporters were treated to a league title that first season, the club's second. It would be a long wait until a third title.
The 1920 and 1930s were a turbulent period for United as they shuttled between the first and second division of the Football League. In World War II Old Trafford suffered heavy damage and United were forced to share Manchester City's Maine Road stadium for eight long seasons. At about this time, in 1945, the first great Man United manager arrived, Matt Busby. He would go on to lift the club out of their long stagnation, bring them several league titles with a wonderful young side named the Busby Babes, see the club through the dark tragedy of Munich and on to ultimate success in the European Cup.
Busby's first title was the 1948 FA Cup, followed by three league titles in the 1950s. However it all came to halt on February 6, 1958 when a plane carrying the team home from a European Cup match in Belgrade crashed after refueling in Munich. Seven players died (and an eighth two weeks later) and the memory of that day still burns brightly in the minds of Manchester United supporters. Busby amazingly survived the crash, recovered and set about rebuilding his squad. It took nearly a decade but United were First Division champions in 1965 and 1967 and in 1968 the Red Devils became the first English side to win the European Cup, knocking out Benfica 4-1 in extra time at Wembley.
Sadly for United this was the end of an era and the club drifted from the heights of that success to mediocrity to downright disaster when they were relegated from the First Division in 1974, losing to Manchester City on the final day of the season. 28 seasons of top-flight football came to an end. While United bounced straight back, winning the Second Division at first attempt, it was not until the arrival of Alex Ferguson in 1986 that the club truly began to climb back upwards.
26 seasons without a league title finally ended with Manchester United winning the debut season of the English Premier League. Since that time United have gone from strength to strength, winning 11 EPL titles and equalling Liverpool's record of 18 top-flight league titles. The Red Devils have also won two Champions League finals, including the spectacular 2-1 win over Bayern Munich which included two injury time goals to overturn the Germans.
During this period Manchester United have been transformed into a massively popular global club, with tens if not hundreds of millions tuning in for every match. Old Trafford has been transformed beyond recognition and a series of superstars have plied their trade at the "Theater of Dreams" including Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and so many more. United were also controversially bought out by American investor Malcom Glazer, who borrowed heavily to fund the purchase and then transferred that debt back to the (previously debt-free) club. This was the last straw for some supporters and a rival supporter-run club called FC United of Manchester was launched in 2005.
On the field though very little has changed, Manchester United have won three English Premier League titles in succession, not to mention Community Shields, League Cups, Champions League and World Club Cup titles. The Red Devils keep marching on.
Manchester United Colors:
Manchester United have worn their existing uniform of red shirts, white shorts and black socks nearly without interruption since their name change from Newton Heath to Manchester United in 1902. This was part of an early "re-branding" effort of the club to establish itself as a team for the entire Manchester area. Why the club hit on red and white as their colors is apparently lost in time.
Manchester United are in the enviable position of being their opponent's game of the season in virtually every fixture they play. There are only a handful of clubs that really get Manchester United supporters up in arms and out of these two stand out from the crowd.
The Manchester United-Liverpool rivalry can in some ways be considered the "English derby" as the Reds and Red Devils represent the two most successful clubs in the history of English football. Add to that the relative proximity of the two cities (28 miles) and their position as the two biggest cities in the Northwest of England (it's also called the Northwest Derby) and you can understand how the struggle between the two grows and grows. In fact no player has been transferred between the two clubs since 1964. Manchester United hold a slight edge in the overall series.
The second major match on the Man United calendar is the Manchester derby with Manchester City. While Manchester United are light years ahead of Manchester City in trophies won, the balance of results between the two is not as lopsided as you might imagine. United have won about 40% of the matches, City 30% and the rest have been drawn.
Manchester United Links:
|Last Updated on Monday, 05 November 2012 22:31|