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.