Manchester United Football Club, one of the world’s most acclaimed and beloved clubs, was established in Manchester, England as Newton Heath LYR Football Club back in 1878.
Since 1902, Manchester United has grown into a global phenomenon with millions of supporters around the globe.
Manchester United has won an impressive array of domestic and international titles, such as 20 English League championships, 12 FA Cup titles, and 3 European Cup trophies. This glossary page seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of Manchester United FC including its history, stadium, rivalries, best players and best managers.
Manchester United Football Club was first established as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by workers at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot in Newton Heath, a suburb of Manchester. Their first match took place on November 1880; soon thereafter they joined the Football League as one of its founding members in 1888; however they struggled financially throughout its early years before being on the verge of bankruptcy by 1902.
However, that same year John Henry Davies saved Manchester United through his intervention; investing £2,000 and taking over as chairman. Under Davies’ watchful leadership, Manchester United would rebrand and go on to become one of the most successful football clubs worldwide.
Manchester United first found success under legendary manager Sir Matt Busby, who assumed control in 1945. Busby quickly assembled an exciting group of young talent known as the “Busby Babes,” winning consecutive league championships from 1956 and 1957 before tragedy struck when their plane crash-landed upon takeoff in Munich, Germany in 1958, killing 23 people – eight players among them – before reconstructing them successfully and leading Manchester United to their inaugural European Cup win four years later in 1968.
Manchester United experienced great success during the 1980s and 90s under Sir Alex Ferguson’s management, having taken charge of the club in 1986. Under Ferguson’s watchful eye, several successful teams emerged during his time, winning 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cup titles and 2 UEFA Champions League trophies before his retirement in 2013. Since his departure in 2013, Manchester United has found itself struggling to regain its former glory, yet remains one of the world’s premier football clubs.
Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester United’s home venue since 1910 and boasting a seating capacity of 74,140, is situated in Trafford Borough in Greater Manchester. The stadium first opened for play in December 1910 and served as one of Britain’s premier club stadiums until 2005 when Emirates Stadium replaced it.
Old Trafford has seen several extensive renovations over its history, such as a £90 million revamp in the early 2000s. Old Trafford boasts multiple stands including Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, East Stand and South Stand as well as Stretford End; Stretford End is known for hosting Manchester United fans who prefer an electric atmosphere and loud celebrations.
Old Trafford has played host to many international tournaments over its storied history, from hosting Manchester United home matches and the 1966 World Cup final, to staging several matches during 2012 Olympic football tournament.
Manchester United enjoys several intense rivalries both locally and nationally, most notably against rival club Manchester City which also resides in Manchester – their rivalry being most evident during The Manchester Derby which sees fans from both clubs eagerly contest it each week for bragging rights over one another.
Manchester United enjoys a longstanding rivalry with Liverpool, one of English football’s oldest and most storied clubs. Dating back to the early 20th century, their competition stems from proximity, shared success and differing fan bases; matches between Manchester United and Liverpool often become high-stakes affairs with both sets of supporters keen to secure bragging rights over each other.
Manchester United also maintains an intense international rivalry with Barcelona. These two clubs have met multiple times in UEFA Champions League finals since 2009 and 2011; their animosity stems from both clubs’ status as global football giants as well as their differing styles of play.
Manchester United has had many outstanding players throughout its storied history, making it difficult to select only a select few as iconic representatives of its club. Here are a few that stand out:
- Sir Bobby Charlton: Charlton is widely considered one of the greatest English footballers of all time, spending his entire career at Manchester United, where he won three league titles and the European Cup (in 1968). Additionally, Charlton played an instrumental role in helping England to win their World Cup victory in 1966.
- George Best: George Best is widely considered the greatest natural talent ever seen at Manchester United. During his ten-year stay, Best won two league championships and one European Cup crown – becoming an extremely popular player among both fans and media alike. His style of play made him both beloved by supporters as well as an inspirational figure for opponents on and off the pitch.
- Eric Cantona: Eric Cantona was one of Manchester United’s most charismatic and mysterious players ever, joining in 1992 and winning four league titles within five years – his influence can still be felt today.
- Cristiano Ronaldo: Ronaldo came to Manchester United as an exciting young winger from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, becoming one of the most celebrated players in English football and winning three league titles and, ultimately, winning the Champions League tournament in 2008. Ronaldo’s success at Manchester United cemented his status as one of the greatest ever players ever seen on a football pitch.
- Ryan Giggs: Ryan Giggs was an ardent supporter and player of Manchester United for much of his career, appearing over 900 times during this time and winning 13 league titles, four FA Cups, and two Champions League championships. Widely revered, Giggs remains one of United’s greatest-ever players to this day.
Manchester United has had many great managers over its history, but two stand out:
- Sir Matt Busby: Busby first assumed leadership of Manchester United in 1945, creating their legendary “Busby Babes” team during their dominance of 1950s football. In 1968 he led United to their inaugural European Cup triumph – widely acknowledged as one of England’s most talented managers ever.
- Sir Alex Ferguson: Starting as Manchester United manager in 1986 and remaining for 27 years thereafter, winning 13 Premier League championships, five FA Cup trophies, and two Champions League crowns, is a testament to Sir Alex’s incredible impact both at Manchester United and English football as a whole.