Manchester United

Manchester United FC is one of the biggest football clubs and brands in the world. Having just won the UEFA Europa League 2017, this guarantees them entry into next season's Champions League. It's a far cry from the club's humble beginnings 139 years ago, when the team was formed as part of a local railway companies' league.

Manchester United

Early history

In 1878, the fledgling Manchester United Football Club began - although initially it was called Newton Heath LYR, which stood for Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Employees of Newton Heath railway yard put the team together to play association football against other rail yards.

When the Football League was launched in 1888 with teams such as Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers, Newton Heath didn't think they were good enough and it wasn’t until 1892 that they joined. The club changed its name in 1902, after brewery owner John Davies invested money. Suggestions of Manchester Celtic and Manchester Central were dismissed in favour of Manchester United.

Old Trafford

Paid for by Davies and supervised by architect Archibald Leitch, building work on the new Old Trafford Stadium began in 1908. The club moved from their old Bank Street premises in early 1910 to a new stadium that housed 80,000 spectators, with one covered seated area and three open terraces. A roof was added over United Road terrace in 1934.

Old Trafford suffered bombing damage during World War II and it took eight years to fully rebuild. In 1966, three World Cup group matches were played at Old Trafford and in the 1970s and '80s, the stadium was refurbished with increased seated areas and enhanced executive facilities. The new North Stand opened in 1995.

In the 21st century, refurbishments have included second tiers to the East and West stands and new upper-tiers on both sides of the North Stand to increase capacity. The North Stand was renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in 2011 to honour the long-time manager.

Sir Alex Ferguson

A former Scottish football player, Sir Alex went on to manage Manchester United from November 1986 until 2011, surpassing Sir Matt Busby's record as United's longest-serving manager. During his time there, Sir Alex was the first manager of a British side to win the treble - the Premier League, the FA Cup and the European Cup - in the 1998/99 season.

Club's achievements

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United have won a record 13 Premier League titles; FIFA Club World Cup and European Cup victories in 2008; and League Cups in 2009 and 2010.

The club has won a massive collection of trophies, including seven pre-1992 First Division Championships; three UEFA Champions League titles; the FA Cup 12 times; five League Cups; 21 Community Shields; EUFA Europa League 2017; UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991; Inter Continental Cup 1999; FIFA Club World Cup 2008; and UEFA Super Cup 1991.

Manchester United Trophies

Famous players

The most famous player of all time, Sir Bobby Charlton played 758 games during his 17-year career with United, scoring 249 goals. He scored twice in his league debut in 1956 and was one of the "Busby Babes" who survived the Munich air disaster of 6th February 1958, when eight of his team mates tragically died. He played an integral role in England's World Cup victory in 1966.

In modern times, Wayne Rooney has become the club's all-time leading scorer with 250 goals, finally beating Sir Bobby Charlton's record in January 2017. He was a teenager when he first played at Old Trafford in September 2004 and was made club captain in 2014, leading the team to victory in the FA Cup against Crystal Palace in May 2016.

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