Loading...
Next Match: Image
West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
Sunday 17th December 2017, KO 14:15 UTC.
User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

History in a pot

Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:28 am

1878[tab][/tab]Newton Heath (LYR) formed
1885[tab][/tab]Turned professional
1889[tab][/tab]Entered Football Alliance league as a founder member
1891[tab][/tab]Completion of new 1,000 seater stadium at North Road
1892[tab][/tab]Football Alliance runners-up
____[tab][/tab]Promoted to English Football League Division 1 for first time
1893[tab][/tab]Newton Heath removed the LYR from name
1894[tab][/tab]Relegated to Football League Division Two
____[tab][/tab]Moved to new stadium at Bank Lane
1897[tab][/tab]Football League Division Two runner-up
____[tab][/tab]Not promoted after failure in play off matches
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Quarter Finalist (1st time into last 8)
1898[tab][/tab]Changed from green and gold quarters to blue and white strip
1902[tab][/tab]Newton Heath changed name to Manchester United
____[tab][/tab]Changed colours to red and white
1906[tab][/tab]Football League Division Two runner-up
____[tab][/tab]Promoted to Division One
1908[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (1st time)
1909[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (1st time)
1910[tab][/tab]Moved to new stadium (Old Trafford)
1911[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (2nd time)
1922[tab][/tab]Relegated to Division Two
1925[tab][/tab]Football League Division Two Champions
____[tab][/tab]Promoted to Division One
1926[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1931[tab][/tab]Relegated to Division Two
1936[tab][/tab]Football League Division Two Champions
____[tab][/tab]Promoted to Division One
1937[tab][/tab]Relegated to Division Two
1938[tab][/tab]Football League Divisiion Two runner-up
____[tab][/tab]Promoted to Division One
1940[tab][/tab]Football League programme abandoned due to outbreak of war
1947[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up (on goal average)
1948[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (2nd time)
1949[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up (3rd successive year)
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1951[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
1952[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (3rd time)
1956[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (4th time)
1957[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (5th time)
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Semi-Finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup runner-up
1958[tab][/tab]European Cup Semi-Finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup runner-up
1958[tab][/tab]Lost most of first team in the Munich disaster
1959[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
1962[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1963[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (3rd time)
1964[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Winners Cup Quarter Finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1965[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (6th time) (on goal average)
____[tab][/tab]European Inter Cities Fairs Cup (UEFA Cup) Semi-Finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1966[tab][/tab]European Cup Semi-Finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1967[tab][/tab]Football League Champions (7th time)
1968[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Winners (1st time)
1969[tab][/tab]European Cup Semi-Finalists
1970[tab][/tab]Football League Cup semi-finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup semi-finalists
1971[tab][/tab]Football League Cup semi-finalists
1974[tab][/tab]Relegated to Division Two
1975[tab][/tab]Football League Division Two Champions
____[tab][/tab]Promoted to Division One
____[tab][/tab]Football League Cup semi-finalists
1976[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup runner-up
1977[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (4th time)
1979[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup runner-up
1980[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
1983[tab][/tab]Football League Cup runner-up
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (5th time)
1984[tab][/tab]European Cup Winners Cup Semi-Finalists
1985[tab][/tab]UEFA Cup Quarter Finalists
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (6th time)
1988[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
1990[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (7th time)
1991[tab][/tab]One point deducted for players fighting against Arsenal
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Winners Cup Winners
____[tab][/tab]Football League Cup runner-up
1992[tab][/tab]Football League runner-up
____[tab][/tab]Football League Cup Winners
1993[tab][/tab]Founder members of F.A. Premiership
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions
1994[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (2nd time)
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (8th time)
____[tab][/tab]Football League Cup runner-up
1995[tab][/tab]F A Premiership runner-up
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup runner-up
1996[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (3rd time)
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (9th time)
1997[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (4th time)
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Semi-Finalists
1998[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership runner-up
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Quarter Finalists
1999[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (5th time)
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Winners (2nd time)
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (10th time)
____[tab][/tab]Winners of the FIFA Intercontinental Cup (first time and first British club to do so)
____[tab][/tab]European Super Cup runner-up
2000[tab][/tab]Competed in inaugural FIFA World Club Championship
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (6th time)
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Quarter Finalists
2001[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (7th time)
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Quarter Finalists
2002[tab][/tab]European Cup semi-finalists
2003[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (8th time)
____[tab][/tab]Football League Cup runner-up
____[tab][/tab]European Cup Quarter Finalists
2004[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Winners (11th time)
2005[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup runner-up
____[tab][/tab]Football League Cup semi-finalists
2006[tab][/tab]Football League Cup Winners (2nd time)
2007[tab][/tab]F.A. Premiership Champions (9th time)
____[tab][/tab]F.A. Cup Runners Up



User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1877 - 1893: Newton Heath is Born

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:10 am

Newton Heath, a local Manchester team, had started playing in 1878, a group of railway workers for Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways making up the first team. They played at a small ground in North Road on Monsall Road Newton Heath. They were a resounding success that first season and soon picked up the nickname "The Heathens".
In 1885 they turned professional and in 1888 they were admitted to the Football Alliance after their efforts to join the Football League failed. Manchester played for three years in the Football Alliance, finishing their first season in 8th, the second in 9th and in the third season they finished 2nd, with only three defeats out of 22 games played and with 69 goals scored. Eventually they were admitted in 1892 when the Division one was expanded from 14 to 16 clubs and a second Division added. The club appointed its first paid secretary (manager) in 1892, his name was Mr A.H. Albut. Newton Heath's inaugural league game took place on September 3, 1892 against the then mighty Blackburn Rovers. The attendance was 8,000 and the game was played in a torrential rainstorm with the Heathens going down to a 4-3 defeat. A Scot named Robert Donaldson became the first player to score a league goal for the team that was to become Manchester United (he later transferred to Luton Town).

Newton Heath's first season turned out to be a near disaster 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 10-1 victory over Wolves at the North Road ground, but more defeats followed and they finished their first season in 16th place (last) with 18 points and 85 goals conceded. They won their playoff game 5-2 against Stoke City in a replay after the first game turned out a 1-1, the game played at North Road in front of 4,000 on a mud path of a pitch. The facilities in those days were not very good and the teams actually changed in a pub down the road called the Three Crowns.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1893 - 1894: Heathens Relegated to Second Division

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:11 am

Newton Heath's second season turned out to be worst than the first when they again finished bottom of the League, this time with only six wins in 30 games. They were again scheduled to play a make or break playoff game to decide their fate, this time the opponent was Liverpool who had only been in existence for two years and had won the second division without losing a game. This time there was no respite for the Heathens, they lost 2-0 and were relegated to the second.

Visiting teams had complained so much about the apalling conditions at North Road that the Club moved across town prior to the season beginning to a ground in Bank street, Clayton. This new home proved to be not much of an improvement due to a chemical works that stood next to the ground that bellowed out toxic fumes that drifted across the pitch.

1894 was the first year of the Manchester Derby, it was played on November 3rd at the then Manchester City ground Ardwick. The teams had met before in the Manchester Cup, the Football Alliance, and even the FA Cup but this was the first League meeting of the two great rivals. The game was watched by 15,000 fans in threatening weather. The Heathens drew first blood on their neighbors with a 5-2 victory (also won the return fixture 4-1). The game was notable by the home debut of a Manchester City player named Billy Meredith who would go on to become United's first major star in future years.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1894 - 1895: Record breaking season for Newton Heath

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:11 am

The Heathens had been playing at Bank Steet since leaving the mud of North Road in 1893, but Bank Street turned out to be just as bad and visiting teams continued to complain. On the 9th of March 1895 Walsall Town were the visitors, after arriving they inspected the pitch and immediately lodged a complaint with the League, they grumbled it was not fit for schoolboys to play on. Newton responded by throwing on another layer of sand and thus the fixture took place as scheduled.

This was a regular 2nd division match, with the Heathens attacking from the outset, and by halftime they had a comfortable lead of 3-0. Newton really went to town in the second half though, running a score of 14-0 before the ref blew the final whistle. The Football League however were not impressed with the Heathens victory and after more complaints from the Walsall players who were supported by the referee, Mr Jefferies, they cancelled the result and demanded the teams play again. And after Newton had worked on the pitch for a week they did play, the result? Heathens 9 Walsall 0.

Newton had scored a total of 23 goals in the two matches. The season was a little more successful than the previous, but although they spent much of the year in second place they did not gain promotion, because by the end of the year they stood in third position in division two.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1895 - 1896: Kit Change

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:12 am

The season 1895/96 wasn't much better than their first season in the second division. The Heathens couldn't adopt their style of playing to the second division. And by the end of the season they were a long way off the promotion places, they finished sixth with 15 wins and 12 defeats out of 30 games played.

In the FA cup they reached the second round, one round further than last year. 1895 was the year that Newton Heath changed their club's colours. Till this time the club colours had been green and gold, but it now changed to white shirts and blue shorts.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1896 - 1897: Promotion agony

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:12 am

After their best season in years Newton Heath finished in 2nd place in the 2nd division and in the play-offs with Burnley and Sunderland, who had finished at the bottom of Div 1, and Notts County, who had won the 2nd div Championship.

After beating Burnley 2-0 at home they lost by the same score in the return match and then faced Sunderland at Bank Street. The Sunderland team had been having much success prior to the season having taken the division 1 Championships in 92, 93 and 95, but they had fallen on hard times that year (although that was not to last very long).

More than 18,000 fans turned out for the game which finished in a 1-1 draw and sent the Heathens to Roker Park and Notts County only needing a draw to secure a 1st div place, alas this was not to happen as they lost both games and had to settle for another season in div 2.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1897 - 1898: Bogged down in Division 2

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:12 am

As 1898 drew to a close Newton Heath and across town rivals Man City were the top two teams in the 2nd div, with a team called "New Brighton Tower" in third. On Boxing day the two teams faced each other, the Heathens coming off a 9-0 thrashing of Darwen while City were also coming off a big win against Blackpool (4-2).

Confidence was high but it was City who came out the victors making short work of their neighbours in a 4-0 win. Newton never recovered from this and finished the season in 3rd place, 3 points behind Glossop North End and 6 points behind City who won the title and promotion to the first.

Once more they had challenged for promotion only to fall by the wayside. In five seasons in the second they had never finished lower than sixth.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1898 - 1899: Player scandal at Newton

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:13 am

1899 was to be known for the infamous riots between Celtic and Rangers. After a Scottish Cup final replay the fans tried to burn down the ground and trouble continued for several hours in the streets of Glasgow with 81 policemen having to be treated in hospital. There was also trouble at Everton's Goodison Park after the ref had abandoned a game.

Newton Heath had their own problems with a "scandal" behind the scenes when two players (Boyd and Cunnigham) were suspended by the club for their extracurricular activities. The two players were have said to have been drinking, the Athletic News reported:

"If men who are paid good wages don't think it worth their while to keep themselves in condition they are better off out of the team."
The week following these suspensions it was the fans turn. After the Heathens took a 2-1 defeat at New Brighton Tower a group of supporters took action by surrounding the referee as he walked off the field, jeering and booing him. The situation could have been worse if it hadn't been for several club officials and Policemen who escorted the poor referee to dressing room safety.

By all reports the referee had been very poor and the youths had been provoked by several dubious decisions. The result of the game seriously dented any hopes of Newton Heath's promotion chances for that year.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1899 - 1900: New century, same old story

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:13 am

The start to the 20th century held little relief for the Heathens who had acheived little in recent years and were languishing in the shadow of their rivals Man City who had been recently promoted to the 1st division.

The team at that time did see a few changes with Frank Barrett in goal, Harry Stafford and Fred Erentz at the fullback positions, Morgan Griffiths and Carwright were regular choices as centre back, while up front Bryant, Jackson and Cassidy were the regulars.

The club had forged strong links Wales at the time and boasted seven Welsh internationals in the line-up, many of them arriving in Manchester looking for work on the railroad. Although rich in Welsh international talent the Club had not a single English International on the books (Billy Bryant was picked to represent the Football League). But even with a solid team and a lot of Welsh internationals Newton Heath could not get the promotion they so desperately needed.

For the third time in a row they finished fourth in the second division.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1900 - 1901: Worst season in seven years

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:13 am

The season 1900/01 was the worst season for Newton Heath in seven years of second division football. They started the season with hopes of promotion to the first division, but finished a long way off their target.

They ended the season at the tenth place, with 16 defeats out of 34 matches played. Their goal average was just positive with +6 (38-32). This was the sign for the directors to fire their secretary Mr A.H. Albutt and appoint a new one. The new secretary was Mr James West.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1901 - 1902: Manchester United Football Club is born!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:13 am

Newton Heath at the turn of the century were indeed at their lowest ebb. After a decade in the Football league all they had to show was two years in the top flight (both years finishing at the bottom) and eight years in the second. It was decided by the directors that new players had to be bought, but there were no funds available so a Bazzar was arranged by the club to attempt to raise cash.

The event was to start on Wednesday 27th February and run for 4 days, the Manchester Evening News reported that the Northern military and Bess-o'th'-barn Brass bands would be playing. The Bazzar ended on Saturday evening but after paying off the cost of renting the hall it was found that the event had hardly been a success and the funds needed still had not been found.

The Club's fortunes then took a strange twist, Harry Stafford the Newton Heath captain owned a St Bernard dog, he had taken the dog to the Bazzar and tied a collecting box around its neck, the dog escaped from the hall and was found wandering the City by a Pub landlord, who showed it to a Mr Henry Davies who was then a managing director of the Manchester Brewers.

Davies took a fancy to the dog and immediatley bought it off the landord. Feeling guilty Davies decided to trace the dog's owner and soon found out that it belonged to the Newton captain, after meeting with Stafford the businessman decided to help and made a financial contribution to the club, and made further promises of help for the future. Stafford did not forget that promise! Mr John Henry Davies would become chairman and president of the club in the future.

Newton Heath finished the season worse than last and by the end of the season they stood on a 15th place in the league, with 17 defeats out of 34 games played and a negative goal difference (38-53).

In this season Newton Heath changed their club colours again, this time the white shirts and blue shorts were replaced by red shirts and white shorts. The name of Newton Heath was not liked by all, they had left their home in Newton Heath 9 years previously, and following the reorganisation of the Club many called for a name change. Manchester Central was suggested, but it was decided that it sounded too much like a railway station, also suggested and rejected was Manchester Celtic, then a Mr Louis Rocca hit upon the name Manchester United. The name had been suggested before but had not met much support, but this time it stuck and on Saturday 26th April 1902 Newton Heath became Manchester United.

This must have pleased many of the visiting teams and supporters who for years had been showing up for games at the old Newton Heath only to find a dilapidated and empty pitch, and then had to dash across town to arrive minutes before the kickoff.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1902 - 1903: The slow road to recovery

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:14 am

In this season Manchester United could recover a little bit of their bad run in the second division. With Mr. James West as manager they started the season well, but because of a bad run in the end they finished in 5th place.

In the FA Cup they could not go further than the second round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1903 - 1904: Ernest Mangnall takes over at United

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:14 am

Manchester United's manager in 1903 was James West, under him they had begun the season very poorly with two defeats and a draw, on Monday 28th Sept he resigned his position and Ernest Mangnall became the new United manager. Mangnall joined the club from Burnley where he had served as secretary. He would go on to become United's first "great" manager.

The new manager had been born in Bolton and was well known in sporting circles in the North west. He was known in particular for his love of cycling, and during his youth had actually cycled the length of Great Britain from John O' Groats to Lands end, he could often be spotted riding his bike to the ground.

With United's financial status at last secure Mangall proved himself a shrewd buyer in the transfer market. He brought goalie Harry Moger to United, along with Alex Bell, Dick Duckworth, and a great centre half in Charlie Roberts. His greatest coup however was bringing the great Billy Meredith across from Man City, other Man City rebels quickly followed Meredith's path and United stole away Herbert Burgess, Sandy Turnbull, and Jimmy Bannister from their rivals. Meredith and Roberts at the time were considered the most talented players in the land. With the new manager and new players United finished third in the league and just missed promotion to the first division.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1904 - 1905: Building a team for the top

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:14 am

Manchester United's manager Mangnall was building a side that looked better than anything the fans had seen so far. 20 year old Charlie Roberts proved a great buy, signed from Grimsby for the grand total of �450. He was sturdily built and extremely fast, it was reported that he could run the hundred yards in 11 seconds. This was the time that the world record stood at 9.6 seconds!

Vittorio Pozzo the Italian national team coach was reported to be a huge fan of Roberts and took back to Italy a lasting memory of the player after he visited Clayton to watch him play. Pozzo went on to create one of the finest pre-war teams ever to play the game, he had stated publicly that Roberts had been his inspiration. Strangely enough, the English team selectors didn't seem to agree and Roberts only played for England 3 times, it was believed that his image as somewhat of a rebel contributed to him being ignored this way. Roberts wore his shorts short, this was a time when the FA had ruled that all shorts were to cover the knee, he had also been a pioneer in the Players Union becoming its chairman and later becoming a leader in the "outcasts" (to be explained later).

On Boxing day 1904 united entertained Liverpool at Clayton, 40,000 fans showed up for the game and United defeated the Merseysiders 3-1. It was a high point in the season although Liverpool took their revenge 4 months later and hammered United 4-0 at Anfield to finish the season at the top of the table and again deny United the promotion they desperately desired. They finished on the third spot again with only five defeats out of 34 matches played and 81 goals scored.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1905 - 1906: Promotion at last!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:15 am

After 12 unhappy seasons in the second division 1906 was the year that United finally claimed their place again in the top flight. One of the season's finest results in the club's young history was a Cup win over the mighty Aston Villa. Villa had won the League Championship in 1894, 1896, 1897, 1899 and 1900 and they had also won the FA Cup in 1887, 1895, 1897 and 1905. Everyone had Villa as hot favorites to hammer the 2nd div United, but before a record crowd of over 40,000 (gate receipts 1,460 pound) United proceeded to hammer the Villa team 5-1 on the mud bath Clayton pitch.

United's joy was short lived though as Woolwich Arsenal beat them in the next round 3-2. Promotion was clinched with a 3-1 victory over Leeds City (yes they were called City back then) and United finished the season in style by trouncing Burton United 6-0 at Clayton. When the final whistle blew the crowd invaded the pitch and carried the team shoulder high from the field. Ernest Mangnall addressed the cheering fans and promised them that this was only the beginning, he was right!

Although Manchester did gain promotion, they didn't win the second division. They finished on the second place with only 4 defeats out of 38 matches played and they scored an unbelievable amount of goals (90).

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1906 - 1907: City's plight, United's opportunity

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:15 am

1907 was the year that Manchester United finally arrived as a major force in the footballing world. Boasting an exciting lineup and playing a brand of football that was to become a hallmark at the club. The backbone of the team had come across from their rivals Man City after a sensational scandal had erupted at the Ardwick club. Players were all supposed to be on a fixed wage of 4 pounds per game, it was discovered that City had been paying 6 or 7 pounds a week per player. The FA were furious about this discovery and dismissed five of the Man City directors and banned 17 of its players from ever appearing in a blue shirt again.

Mangnall acted swiftly and managed first of all to sign Billy Meredith (in 1906) later adding the services of four other City players. Meredith had also been involved in a bribe fiasco and it is said he was lucky not to be banned from the game for life. It is interesting to note here that although the players were signed in 1906, they all were serving FA mandated suspensions, so they did not make their debuts in a Red shirt until 1907.

Billy Meredith was known as the 'Welsh Wizard' as he provided the spark that set apart Man United from other clubs establishing a tradition for players of the highest quality to follow him. He was the George Best of the Edwardian era - rebellious, skilled and popular. Many questions about the player's long layoffs were soon answered in the first game of 1907 against Aston Villa when an inspired Meredith darted and teased the Villa defence, finally plotting its downfall by laying on a cross for Turnball to slam into the net.

By the end of the season United had climbed to 8th place and their brand of football was the talk of the town, more importantly they were poised to make an assault one the big prize, the Championship!

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1907 - 1908: Champions!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:15 am

The 1908 season began in fine style for the men from Clayton, a 4-1 hammering of Villa, a 4-0 win against Liverpool and a 2-1 win over Middlesbourgh. After 14 games had been played, United had only dropped 2 points and stood (for the first time) proudly on top of Div 1.

The wins were not squeaked out either, six against Newcastle away, five at Blackburn, four against Everton, Arsenal and Birmingham. United's football was the talk of the footballing press! But despite the roaring start to the season they finished it rather slowly, with a run of 7 defeats in a row.

But they were the Champions for the first time and set a new league record with 82 goals scored. Following the season's end the United board decided to reward the team with a trip to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They first played a combined Vienna Sport and Vienna FC team and won comfortably 4-0 before travelling on by train to Budapest for two games against Ferencvaros.

United won the first 6-2, but the second sparked off a minor diplomatic incident. United started the game in roaring style and the Hungarian fans applauded in admiration for the English Champions, but United continued to pile it on, and the scene turned sour as the referee sent off three United players and a mini-riot developed. Eventually the police got the scene under control and United finished the game with 8 players, and a 7-0 win. But it was not to end there, as the referee blew the final whistle stones were hurled from the terraces, players were spat on and police had to finally charge the crowd with swords drawn to disperse the throng.

United were transported by open top bus to their hotel, and encountered another mob that rained stones down upon them, several players sustained head wounds before the police again got the crowd under control. The Hungarian authorities apologised profusely and United diplomatically shrugged the incidents off and promised to return again the following year. Upon arriving back in Manchester, Mangnall vowed he would never go back to Hungary.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1908 - 1909: Cup fever grips United

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:15 am

Following their first Championship victory United played QPR in the Charity Shield match, the game was played at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge and finished in a 1-1 draw. A replay was arranged and this time more than 40,000 turned out to watch United put on an impressive display with Turnbull getting a hatrick in their 4-0 win. In United's history they had come no closer to winning the FA Cup than the 8th round, with the Championship trophy tucked away in the boardroom they now set sights on the only major British trophy that had so far alluded them.

They started the campaign with a win against Southern league Brighton 1-0. And in the second round were drawn at home again this time against Everton. The Toffees were eliminated by a goal from Halse and the Reds marched on. The Rovers of Blackburn were United's next victims getting a severe 6-1 thrashing at Clayton. For the first time that year they were drawn away in the next round to 2nd division Burnley and were down a goal to nil and looked like they were going out of the Cup again at the eight round when Mother Nature stepped in, snow started to fall in the 18th minute of the game, it turned into a blizzard and the referee had no option but to call off the tie. The replay favoured the Reds and they won a 3-2 contest.

United were now in the semi-finals for the first time in their history where they faced stiff opposition from the Cup holders Newcastle. The Geordie's fell to another goal from Halse and United were through to the final. (Newcastle did go on to win the Championship).

The final took place at the Crystal Palace and Bristol City were United's opponents. The City of Manchester was gripped with Cup fever and train excursions to London were offered to the fans for 11 shillings each. United were forced to change their strip and instead of their usual scarlet red they wore white with a red "V". The City of Manchester poured into the Capital and despite the threat of rain 70,000 fans packed into the ground to watch Turnbull score the only goal of the game and with it win the Cup for United.

Billy Meredith is said to have been the difference in the two sides, although by most accounts it was a poor game. After their Cup win the United team were taken to the Alhambra Theatre where they were entertained by football's favorite comedian of the time, George Robey. Accompanying United fans in tweed caps and jackets were a stark contrast to the clientele of the dress circle in their evening jackets and bow ties. The next morning there was something of a scare when the lid to the cup could not be found, but it was eventually discovered in the pocket of Sandy Turnbulls jacket where some practical joker had hid it.

The United team arrived at central station Manchester at 3:30pm that afternoon and were surprised to find an estimated 300,000 fans waiting to welcome them back home. With the brass band playing "see, the conquering hero comes" Mangnall opened the door of his carriage and lifted the old trophy high to a huge roar from the crowd. Following Mangnall, dressed in cloth cap, came Charlie Roberts and the rest of the United team, many of them wearing red and white hats. A motor coach took them through the City and all along the route people hung from windows, climbed statues, perched on roof's all to get a glimpse of their hero's.

Never before had Albert Square seen such scenes. The procession continued to the Clayton ground where over 30,000 fans had been awaiting them for over 3 hours. It was to be the old Clayton grounds finest hour, for United had already given notice that they would be soon quitting its muddy fields for a new stadium being built at Old Trafford.

United still had a game left to play and not surprisingly lost to Arsenal, after the game United's chairman took the FA Cup and filled it with champagne, he then took it to the Arsenal dressing room and invited them to drink to United's health.

In August 1909, 4 months after winning the FA cup the whole Manchester United team was suspended by the FA for refusing to renounce the trade union they had helped form. At the outset it had been every professional player in the country that had joined the union, but after pressure from the FA they dropped out one by one until only the Manchester United team was left. The United players stood firm and gained themselves the nickname "the outcasts". It seemed like the end of the season before it started for the club that had just begun to taste success, but when all seemed lost Tim Coleman of Everton walked out on his team mates and sided with the United players. Newcastle United, Middlesborough, and Sunderland all changed their minds also and were followed soon by the rest of the Everton team and the Liverpool team. The FA backed down! A muddled agreement was signed and the crisis was over, but it is thanks to that United team that the player union survived and exists to this day. In the league Manchester did not continue their previous success, finishing a disappointing 13th.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1909 - 1910: Arise Old Trafford!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:16 am

The move to a new stadium had been agreed in 1908, Clayton was a disgrace of a pitch. During the winter months it was a quagmire and hardly a fitting place for a team that had won the FA Cup and Championship. The old stadium was sold to the Manchester Corporation for 5,000 pounds and the new site in Trafford Park was purchased with the help of a grant for 60,000 pounds. The site for the new stadium was chosen and paid for by John Henry Davies, who paid all the costs out of his own pocket. The new stadium was planned to be the largest and finest in the country. It was originally designed to hold 100,000 fans, but after construction estimates soared an additional 30,000 pounds over budget, the plans were revised, restricting the gate to around 60,000.

United played their last game at Clayton's Bank street ground on January 10, 1910, defeating Spurs 5-0. Shortly after United officially left the old ground a gale swept across Manchester and blew down the Bank Street stand causing damage to houses in the surrounding area. The new ground was opened on February 19 and named 'Old Trafford'. Liverpool were the opponents that day and spoiled the party by beating United 4-3 after United had led 2-0. They soon got used to the new ground though and it was October 21, a year later, before they suffered another defeat at home.

The price of admission for the games at Old Trafford at the time was, best reserved seats five shillings, while to stand on the terraces cost sixpence. With the new stadium, United had a better season than last year, finishing on fifth in the league.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1910 - 1911: Champions again!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:16 am

But after two disappointing seasons the 1910/11 season would be a great season for Manchester United, it also would be the last season of one of the great managers of United, Ernest Mangnall.

For the first time in their new stadium they became the Champions of the first division for the second time. This time United's title was clinched by just one point ahead of Aston Villa. United lost 8 of their 38 matches and drew 8 as well, they scored 72 goals. In the FA Cup United could reach the third round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1911 - 1912: Mangnall departs....to City!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:17 am

As League Champions United were once again invited to play in the Charity Shield. This time their opponents were Swindon Town, winners of the Southern League. The game was played at Stamford Bridge but only attracted a crowd of 8,000 which was a pity because the two teams served up 12 goals in a 8-4 win for United.

1911 began another bleak period for the Reds. Ernest Mangnall had created a great team, but in August 1912 he surprisingly left the club and joined Manchester City as their new manager. Earlier the same week he had turned down a 1,500 pound bid from City for United captain Charlie Roberts. After a emergency meeting of the board at Old Trafford it was decided that they could not change Mangnall's mind and he left with their blessings.

Eighteen months later City were top of division 1 and United were struggling next to bottom. Mangnall's achievements at United cannot be underestimated, not only did he win two championships and an FA Cup, he bought players of skill and flair who gave United an unmistakable touch of class and a reputation for attacking flowing football. He had also built the finest stadium in the land at Old Trafford to accommodate all this talent. It would take United 40 years to recover from the loss of him.

Without Mangnall the Champions finished the season a very disappointing 13th, with more defeats than wins (14 defeats and 13 wins).

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1912 - 1913: Sliding in to mediocrity

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:18 am

This was the last revival of United before a very bad period began for them. In this period they finished five times in the bottom of the first division and were finally relegated to the second division. In the second division they needed three years to come back to the highest platform. Hereafter they finished sixth years in a row in the bottom of the first division aagin and the sixth time the relegated again, they promoted again, but a few years later the were relegated for the third time.

In 1937/38 they gained promotion back to the first division. But from 1912/13 till the Second World War Manchester United continued to be trapped between the first and second divisions, not winning anything until 1948, except the second division in 1935.

This season was their last good season in the first division till 1945/46. United finished fourth in the league, with 69 goals scored, they also reached the third round in the FA Cup. But hard years lay ahead for Manchester United.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1913 - 1914: Magnall's great United is broken

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:18 am

United were back in dire financial straits in 1913 following the building of Old Trafford. It was a huge debt to the club and with the war years beckoning it was indeed dark days for the Club. The move of their manager to City was a sensation to the Old Trafford faithful, but it got worse. Concerned with the debt the Board accepted a 1500 pound bid from Oldham Athletic for their captain and spiritual leader Charlie Roberts. This caused shock waves throughout the City.

The Mangnall move had marking the beginning of the end for United and the Roberts deal was merely another nail in the coffin. Players were being sold and the magnificent Manchester United team was finally broken.

War was declared on August 4 1914, the belief at the time was it would be a short affair and that the mainsteam life of the public would not be affected, therefore the League decided to continue on. Initially there was no affect on the game, but as players enlisted in the services to join Lord Kitcheners mighty Army the ranks of players became depleted and it wasn't long before the attendances fell way off as the public lost its appetite for fun after being faced with the reality of World War I. United ended the season avoiding relegation by the skin of their teeth.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1914 - 1915: War!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:19 am

On good Friday 1915 United faced rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford. United were struggling for survival while Liverpool were comfortable in the middle of the table, with no chance for either Championship or relegation. The game finished with a rather surprising victory to United 2-0, but it didn't end there. The referee had reckoned it had been a peculiar game to say the least, and the press had commented on Liverpool's laxadaisical approach. They had missed a penalty and never looked like the true Liverpool. Within a few weeks more speculation with a handbill that was being passed around Liverpool and Manchester put out by a firm of Bookmakers who it seemed had taken an unusual amount of bets for a United 2-0 win.

Although it was not unusual in those days to bet on football games it was unusual to bet on the actual score. The Bookies had laid 7-1 against United winning 2-0. Before long the Football league conducted a formal inquiry into the game and a commission came up with the findings that the game had indeed been fixed by players from both teams. Three United players (Turnbull, West, and Whalley) and four Liverpool players (Sheldon, Miller, Fairfoul, Purcell) were charged with the offense and all were found guilty. The ringleader was reported to be Sheldon an ex-United player playing for Liverpool. The players were suspended from the game for life, only West of United formally protested his innocence taking out a libel action suit against the FA, which he lost in court.

The League decided to lift the ban at the end of the war on all players except West who continued to protest his innocence, but he was never forgiven and the ban wasn't lifted on him until 1945 by which time he was a bitter and disillusioned man who had long since shunned all mention of Football. Interestingly enough the fix was done not to save United from relegation, but to put money in the players pockets. United survived the drop that year by exactly 2 points.

Football was officially suspended at the end of the 1914-15 season due to the war in Europe. In the place of the Football league a variety of regional divisions were established. United joined forces with Everton, Liverpool, Man City and Stockport County to form a Lancashire League southern section, but in time the Country was split into a North and South sections, a guesting system was set up as more and more players were called up for active duty. It was a dark period for United, their magnificent ground at Old Trafford stood silent and empty and with most of their team away fighting the war in Europe the results got worse and worse. Stockport, Oldham and Rochdale regularly beat them and in March 1916 they could only attract a crowd of 500 spectators to watch them lose by a single goal to Oldham and slump to the bottom of even their small league.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1919 - 1920: Football returns

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:19 am

In 1919 League Football finally resumed after its four year disruption. United started the season looking nothing like the powerhouse they had been before the war. Players had transferred out to other Clubs, Billy Meredith was arguing with the club over a transfer, West of course was still banned while Sandy Turnbull had been killed in action during the war.
John Robson was the new manager and he brought in a brood of young players he had been grooming, along with several modest signings such as Clarence Hilditich from Altringham, and Charlie Moore from Hednesford Town. The team did not challenge for the League or Cup but finished a respectable 12th place. Crowds were coming back to the stadiums to watch the game again, the average gate at all 1st division matches in 1920 was 22,000 while United's average was around 30,000. On December 27 1920 70,504 fans showed up to watch United take on Aston Villa, for the record Villa beat the Reds 3-1 that day. The Stadium that had been such a drain on their capital for so many years was now beginning to pay dividends, as it would for many years to come.

Return to “Record, Honours and History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users