Founded in 1878, Manchester United has since grown to become one of the most popular football teams in the world. With 20 league titles under their belt and counting, The Red Devils are also one of the most successful teams around. We take a look into their history, managers, stadium and highlights throughout the years.
The Early Days of Manchester United
The team started with the name of Newton Heath L&YR Football club until 1902 when it was changed to Manchester United. They got off to a great start by winning 20 league titles. The first ever manager of the team was James West who managed for 3 consecutive years. In the late 1940s Manchester United were back on track with their winning streaks and they finished in the top four positions of the first five seasons that they played after the Second World War.
In 1958 tragedy struck as a horrific plane crash caused the death of eight team players as well as many reporters and team staff. In 1968 the team went on to be the first ever English Club to win a European Cup final.
Manchester United's home football stadium is Old Trafford. Located in Stretford in Greater Manchester, Old Trafford is an iconic ground which also caters for other sporting events such as Cricket and Rugby. Originally Old Trafford was the name given to a crossing point in the river, and then a botanical park owned by the scientist John Dalton. It wasn't until the early 1900s when the area was developed; construction on the stadium was officially completed in 1909. Since opening it has been Manchester United's home ground, and between the years of 1941 and 1949 it was shared with Manchester City due to damage caused to their stadium from the Second World War.
There have been a host of games held at the Stadium including FA cup semi-finals, England fixtures, Champions League Finals and even football matches in the 2012 Olympics. Old Trafford is also the eleventh largest stadium in Europe.
Old Trafford is able to accommodate some 75,000 fans, while Manchester United have hinted at future expansion works which could up the number of seats available to 95,000.
Manchester United Players
Many of Manchester United's top players are recognisable household names. Some of the most famous players of all time have played for this prestigious team, including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Renaldo. Bobby Charlton held the record for the most amount of goals scored in Old Trafford, with a whopping 138 goals scored on home turf.
The Telegraph recently created a list of the top 50 players to ever play for the team. Coming in at first place was Ryan Giggs who scored 168 goals for the team and played in 938 matches. In second place was Bobby Charlton, on of the survivors of the Munich air crash, and he scored a total of 249 goals for the team. In third place is Paul Scholes who is often regarded as the best midfielder of all time.
Team Highlights and Successes
Manchester United have amassed 20 premier league titles, 11 FA cup triumphs and 3 European Champion League titles. Many feel that Manchester United's successes have flourished under the wing of Sir Alex Ferguson, and the statistics are certainly there to prove it. During his time as manager he was in charge throughout 26 seasons and he helped the team to win no less than 13 Premier League titles. As well as this the team also won 10 charity shields, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA world cup.
Perhaps the highlight of Manchester United's history was seen in 1999 at the Champion's League Final. Manchester United were playing against Bayern Munich in Barcelona and they were 1-0 down. Three minutes extra time were added onto the game. During this time a miracle happened, two substitutes were put on - Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Within these three minutes both substitutes scored a goal and lead the team to victory. Another highlight was when Manchester United knocked Liverpool off the top of the league.
Managers Through the Years
Manchester United has had a total of 20 managers over the years. The most famous Manager is Alex Ferguson who managed the team between the years of 1986 and 2013. During his reign as manager he lead to team to victory on 895 occasions and was there for some 1500 games, plus he is the longest serving manager in the history of the team. Other notable managers include Roy Atkinson, Matt Busby and Dave Sexton.
Manchester United Facts
While there are many facts and statistics listed above, there are also a number of funny or just plain strange facts about the team and their fans. In 1995 one eager fan was banned from attending games for life as he bought dead chickens into the stadium and preceded to swing them around his head when a goal was scored.
Wayne Rooney is currently the highest paid football player in the team as he earns ₤250,000 every week. His contract is set to finish in 2015. Bastian Schweinsteiger is on ₤200,000 a week, while Angel di Maria earns ₤150,000 a week. Nick Powell and James Wilson are on the lowest wages out of all the players, both earning ₤5,000 every single week. The average yearly wage bill for players comes to around ₤200 million which is the largest out of all teams in the Premier League.
The future is bright for Manchester United. Although there have been ups and downs over the years, and the recent uncertainty regarding new manager Louis Van Gaal's capabilities of managing the devils, Manchester United are still one of the most loved teams going. Watching a game in-person is exhilarating, particularly when it's in their home grounds of the mighty Old Trafford Stadium.