Manchester United may be the most famous and influential football club of all time. For decades they have been one of the most dominant, successful and ever present teams in the sport. Where Manchester United may be from humble beginnings the teams influence doesn’t just begin and end in its native home of Manchester in the North of England, in fact the club has legions of adoring supporters all around the UK. Manchester United also has a large following overseas in the United States and other football obsessed countries like Brazil. Every football fan knows that no matter the championship their favorite team may currently hold, it’s only a matter of time before Manchester United pose a legitimate challenge to that reign.
Since the beginning of the Premier League in 1992, Manchester United has enjoyed consistent success and grown in popularity due to players such as Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. The popularity of these players, the clubs cultural ties to the city of Manchester, their history, and their success on the pitch have allowed the club to expand into a global brand with an unparalleled fan base.
The club was originally founded in 1878 as Newton Heath Football Club, making the club over 138 years old. They first entered the English First Division (at the time the highest ranking football league in England) at the start of the 1892-93 season, making this the first competition they ever entered. In 1902 the club officially renamed itself Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) a name, and abbreviation that are still used today. By 1908 Manchester United had won their first English league title and won the FA cup for the first time in 1909 in a classic match against Bristol City. It was the first time either team had ever competed in an FA Cup final and Manchester United went in as the favorites and won 1-0. A year later the club moved to their iconic stadium of Old Trafford in 1910.
Old Trafford is one of the most celebrated and famous stadiums in the UK, coming in second place to the slightly grander Wembley Stadium. Old Trafford however is indeed a sight to behold, especially when it’s full of cheering fans during an important match. Known affectionately as “The Theatre of Dreams” old Trafford was formally opened on the 19th February 1910 and can hold a capacity of 80,000 fans. A German bomb heavily damaged the stadium on 11th March 1941 during the Second World War. The stadium had become a target for the Nazis as it was being used as a supply depot for the military. Once the war ended efforts were made to repair the stadium and it was finally reopened in August of 1949. The club took the opportunity to completely revamp the stadium, adding modern floodlighting, new stands and a fresh lick of red paint.
While their stadium was being repaired the club continued to gain success on the pitch and won the FA Cup again in 1948 and finished within the top four league positions during each of the first five seasons that followed the end of the Second World War. Manchester United’s new manager Sir Matt Busby ushered in a new generation of hand picked players and encouraged the clubs success with his innovative approach to football.
Despite the success on the pitch tragedy struck the club again in February 1958 when eight members of the team were killed in a plane crash. This loss shook the team and derailed them for a time, but under Busby’s leadership and help from legendary players like Bobby Charlton and George Best, the team was able to rally and went on to win it’s biggest win yet, a major and historic victory for an English team: In 1968 Manchester United won the European Cup Final becoming the first English team to win this prestigious title. Some members of the team would also go on to make essential contributions to the England’s 1966 World Cup Victory cementing their status as footballing giants when they returned to Manchester United triumphant.
In 1986 Sir Alex Ferguson was appointment Manchester United’s new manager and coached the team to another FA Cup win in 1990. This ushered in an era of success that has continued to this day. Since 1992 Manchester United have won the Premier League 13 times and won a record 20 English League titles, 4 League Cups, 3 European Championship Cups and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. During the 1990s Manchester United became one of the most successful and dominant clubs in the UK.
This continued well after the turn of the Millennium and beyond. Sir Alex like Sir Matt before him is regarded as one of the greatest English football managers of all time. He retired in 2013 following his final season but decided to remain close to the club serving as a director of the company. His protégé David Moyes took over management of the team in 2013 but left the position in 2014. Long-term player Ryan Giggs took up the mantle of manager in the interim until a replacement could be found.
On 19 May 2014, the highly qualified Louis van Gaal assumed the position of new Manchester United manager. With a wealth of previous experience Louis van Gaal has managed at the top level of European teams for over 20 years has won a plethora of tournaments and trophies in this time. Van Gaal took the position over in July 2014 after the FIFA World Cup and still holds the position today.
Manchester Untitled Football Club has become a footballing juggernaut and a home of sporting excellence since their inception in 1878. Their fans become ever more vocal in their support as the team finds new ways to engage with its followers on social media, the stands and beyond. “At Manchester United Greatness is more than a word; it’s a way of being, it’s about going further, doing more, respect, honour, never settling for ordinary, inspiring people, our legacy, walking with giants and lifting the prize.”