The History and Legend of Manchester United
The long legend of Manchester United F.C.
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Manchester United is arguably the largest and most well known club in the world (Real Madrid being a big competitors). Manchester United was originally founded as the Newton Heath LYR football club in 1878, however the name was changed to Manchester United in 1902. They later moved into Old Trafford, their still current stadium, in 1910.
The club found themselves in debt in the late 1800’s and needed around 2,500 pounds (equivalent to around 210,000 pounds today). They found some local Manchester-born business men who each were persuaded to pay off the debt. They agreed and renamed the club Manchester United F.C., a name that has stuck ever since. The team one there first ever league title in 1908 by coming first in the first division. The following year they won the Charity Shield and the FA cup for the first time ever. They claimed their second league title in 1911, however their manager, Ernest Mangnall, left for Manchester City F.C.
After this the club was considered to be a yo-yo club (one that goes up and down in form) being religated and reaching a club record all time low of 20th place in the second division in 1934. The club was going to go bankrupt if James W. Gibson had not invested 2,000 pounds in the club and saved it. Following this they were premoted the following season and were 14th in the First Division by the time of World War II, when all football was halted.
Matt Busby was appointed in 1945 following WWII. He took strict control of the team and established a very disciplined team. The results started coming back for Manchester United, when they came in second in the First Division in 1947, 1948, and 1949. They also won the FA cup again in 1948. The club finally managed to win the First Division in 1952, after 41 years. Because the average age for Busby’s team was so low (22 years of age), the media nicknamed them the Busby Babes. Manchester United was the first English team to ever compete in a European Cup, and recorded there biggest victory to date, a 10-0 win against Belgian team Anderlecht.
The following season, tragedy struck. On a flight home from a quarterfinal victory in the European Cup against Red Star Belgrade, crashed, carrying players, journalists, and officials. In total 23 people died, 8 of which were Manchester United players. The reserve coach, took over managerial duties, while Busby recovered from his injuries. They rebuilt the club and signed George Best, one of the greatest footballers who ever lived. With him they claimed the FA cup in 1963. As we all know England would go on to win the World Cup in 1966 against West Germany. Matt Busby finally retired in 1969 and the club was taken over by Wilf McGuinness.
Due to a poor result in the 1969-1970 season, McGuinness was demoted back to reserve coach, while Busby returned as head coach for one season. Frank O’Farrel was appointed manager, but was sacked 18 months later due to poor team performance, and Tommy Dochery was appointed. He helped them regain top flight football in 1976 and went to the FA cup final where they were defeated by Southampton. Manchester United also made it to the final the following year and beat Liverpool 2-1. Dochery was then sacked due to an affair with the team’s physiotheripist’s wife. Dave Sexton was appointed as the replacement for Dochery, however Manchester United failed to sparkle, which resulted in his dismissal. The club then appointed Ron Atkinson, however he was fired in 1986 due to Manchester United’s danger of religation. A new era was about to happen.
Alex Ferguson arrived the day of Atkinson’s sack. Where he helped the club avoid relegation by finishing eleventh place. The following 1987-1988 season proved to be a great standing for Ferguson as Manchester United finished second in the league. However, the 1988-1989 season proved to be going backwards as Manchester United finished eleventh again, and Ferguson was on the verge of being sacked. Because Manchester United narrowly beat Crystal Palace in the final of the FA cup, saved Ferguson’s career, and possibly Manchester United’s status symbol as it is today. In the 1990-1991 season, Manchester United beat reigning champions Red Star Belgrade 1-0 in the final. The also appeared in the league final the same year, beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Wembly Stadium. The cup won there first league title since 1967 in 1993, and next year won it consecutively, the first since 1957. They also won the FA cup in 1994 making that the first ever double for the club. The 1998-1999 was Manchester United’s, any English club’s most successful season ever. They completed the famous Treble, which is a Premier Leauge season first place, a FA cup final win, and a UEFA Champion’s league victory. The Champion’s League final is widely considered the biggest comeback in footballing history. They were down 1-0 going into injury time, when they managed to grab 2 quick goals out of nowhere to claim the victory. They also won the intercontinental cup that same year in Tokio, which resulted in Ferguson being knighted Sir Alex Ferguson for his services towards football.
Manchester United continued to win the league in 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and in 2002-2003 (finished runners up in 2001-2002). They won the FA cup in the 2003-2004 season. The 2005-2006 season was a bit of a setback for Manchester United, because they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champion’s League knockout stages for the first time in over a decade. They still managed to get second in the league and beat Wigan Athletic in the League final. They achieved the European Double in 2007-2008 by winning the Premiership and the UEFA Champion’s Leauge final against Chelsea. Manchester United would go on to win the Premiership in the 2008-2009 season, but come in second the following year to Chelsea. The club also sold Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a record breaking 80 million pounds.
The clubs colors are primarily red, black, and white, however away jerseys once appeared blue. Manchester United play in Old Trafford and have the highest average attendance in all of Europe. It is estimated that the world wide supporters of Manchester United range from 75 million, to 333 million people.
There are also hotly contended rivalries present with Manchester United including the Manchester derby, Leeds United and as Ryan Giggs says, “The biggest rivalry in English Football”, Liverpool. After an FA cup match at Anfield (Liverpool’s home Stadium), an ambulance was attacked by a mob after Alan Smith had broken his leg in the match.
The current squad (the top players) is as follows:
This is Edwin van der Sar.
Defenders-Gary Neville (England), Patrice Evra (France), Rio Ferdinand (England), Wes Brown (England), Chris Smalling (England), Nemanja Vidic (c) (Serbia), Fabio (Brazil), Rafael (Brazil), John O’Shea (Ireland), Johnny Evans (Northern Ireland)
Midfielders-Owen Hargreaves (England), Anderson (Brazil), Ryan Giggs (Wales), Park Ji-Sung (Korea), Micheal Carrick (England), Nani (Portugal), Paul Scholes (England), Darren Fletcher (Scotland), Antonio Valencia (Equador), Darron Gibson (Ireland)
Ryan Giggs is the most decoraded Manchester United player with over 700 apearances.
Strikers-Michael Owen (England), Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria), Wayne Rooney (England), Javier Hernandez (Mexico), Gabriel Obertan (France), Federico Macheda (Italy)