When you think of Manchester United, what do you think of first? Is it the team nickname, ‘The Red Devils’? Is it record-breaking manager Sir Alex Ferguson? Is it the infamous Class of 92’ squad? Or is it The Theatre of Dreams itself, a stadium with a long and illustrious history. The history of Old Trafford is as exciting as the team themselves.
It's not just Old Trafford we can offer information about. You might also be interested in the history of Stamford Bridge, Selhurst Park or more. Look around our site for information on all of these.
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Old Trafford has been the home of Man Utd since 1910. Before that time, Manchester United were known as Newton Heath and played their football just down the road in Clayton.
The pitch at Clayton was mired by pollution fumes drifting over from neighbouring factories, so in 1909, new chairman John Henry Davies decided the team needed to move on to pastures new.
Old Trafford Capacity
The stadium was originally supposed to have a capacity of 100,000 but once construction costs started to rise the Old Trafford capacity was scaled back to 80,000.
The name may have come from a time when there were two halls in Trafford, the Old and New Trafford Hall, and they chose the name purely based on location.
Even after the scale back, this is a lot more than other stadiums, such as The Liberty Stadium. You can find out more about the capacity and the history of the Liberty Stadium on our site if required.
Old Trafford Games
There is a huge history of Old Trafford games. The first game to be played was the 19th February, 1910 against local rivals Liverpool, which Liverpool won 4-3. Shortly after in 1911, the stadium hosted its first FA Cup Final fixture between Bradford City and Newcastle United.
It would be almost a decade later before the ground saw its first international football match between England and Scotland, which England lost 1-0.
Manchester United F.C.
The Second World War was particularly hard on the stadium and Manchester United F.C. The stadium was requisitioned by the army to use as a depot, but games still went ahead. The ground was heavily bombed twice, once in December 1940, and again in March 1941.
The damage from the second bombing was so severe that Man Utd had to share Maine Road with their rivals Manchester City. The stadium was rebuilt, but would not see another game played on its hallowed turf until 24th August 1949.
Man United have played a number of different football clubs including Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. If you are interested to know about the history of Selhurst Park, make certain you look at our page dedicated to this.
Old Trafford Stadium
The period between the 1950’s and the 1970’s saw a dramatic change in Old Trafford’s appearance. In order to accommodate for the 1966 World Cup, the old roof pillars were removed and replaced with a cantilever design to give spectators and unobstructed view.
During this time, the Old Trafford Stadium was also fitted with the country’s first Executive Boxes. The 1970’s also saw the rise of football hooliganism, and this was the first stadium to erect a perimeter fence to stop fans invading the pitch.
In 1990, in light of the Hillsborough Disaster, a law was passed saying that all First and Second Division teams had to convert their stadiums to all-seating. Man United complied with the regulations but this had the knock-on effect of reducing the stadium’s capacity to 44,000.
An extension of the North Stand in 1996 would increase this to 55,000, while various other developments would bring the stadium’s capacity up to 68,000 by the turn of the century.
The most recent expansion in 2006 takes current capacity up to 75,957 which makes The Theatre of Dreams the largest club stadium in England.
Man Utd Fixtures
Manchester Utd have enjoyed massive success in their fixtures at Old Trafford over the years. They have won a record-breaking 20 league titles, 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups and a record 21 Community Shields. In 1998-99 the club were the first in English history to achieve the Treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
In Man Utd 2016-17 fixtures, they won the UEFA Europa League, which makes them one of only five clubs in Europe to have won all three UEFA club competitions. They remain the only English team to have won every available honour possible for a first team to win.
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Man United Managers
Managers of Man United, past and present have had unrivaled success. In 1968 Sir Matt Busby was the first manager to guide an English club to European Cup success, while Alex Ferguson won a staggering 38 trophies during his tenure as manager, a record unmatched by any other manager in history.
Current manager Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful managers of his generation and lead Man United to three pieces of silverware on his first season alone, including the Europa League.
The managers would not have had the success they did had it not been for a string of incredibly talented players. The Busby babes, and the Class of 92’ have gone down in football history as the most talented of their respective generations.
Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Best are widely acknowledged as amongst the greatest players of all time and all three were voted European Player of the Year as some point between 1964 and 1968.
Manchester United Players
The Class of 92’; David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt,Gary Neville and Phil Neville. All of them fledglings from the Manchester United Academy who went on to be a part of the most successful squad that Manchester has ever seen. Ryan Giggs went on to become the most decorated player in English football history.
There have been many other characters through the years that have endeared fans with their skills, some becoming infamous. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Peter Schmeichel, Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Paul Ince, Roy Keane, and of course, Eric ‘King’ Cantona.
Their legacy continues today with players such as Wayne Rooney, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, and World Record signing Paul Pogba, all representing the Red Devils.
Old Trafford Facts
The history of Old Trafford Stadium can be tracked right back to the 1900s. If you are interested in Old Trafford facts, please see below:
- Despite protests from fans at the takeover over the club by Malcolm Glazer in 2005, Manchester United are the most valuable football club in the world, worth a staggering $2.3 billion.
- The record standing attendance is not for a Manchester Utd home game. It was an FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town held on 25th March 1939, where 76,962 people watched Wolves win 5-0. The record seating attendance of 76,098 was for the game between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers on 31st March 2007.
- Manchester United’s 9-0 victory against Ipswich Town at Old Trafford on 4th March 1995 remains the biggest ever Premier League victory.
Man Utd Tickets
When looking to buy Man Utd tickets it is best to visit the site itself. Here you can find out about the best Manchester United ticket prices and find out how to get your hands on them. A number of people want to buy tickets to watch Man U at Old Trafford Stadium so it can often be difficult to get these tickets.