12 Lesser Known Facts About Manchester United

Manchester United Stadium Sketch Colourful
Manchester United might not be having a great deal of success adding to their trophy room over the last few years. But that can't take away from their global fanbase, silverware filled past and rich history. In this article, we take a look at 12 facts about Manchester United that you may not know - YET!


Manchester United, one of the world’s most famous football clubs, has a history rich with success, iconic players, and memorable moments. While many are familiar with its well-known achievements, there are plenty of lesser-known facts that are equally intriguing. Let’s explore 12 of these hidden gems.

1. A Change of Name

Originally, Manchester United wasn’t known by its current famous name. The club was founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club, named after the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company where its players worked. It wasn’t until 1902 that the name was changed to Manchester United.

2. The Munich Air Disaster Survivors

The Munich air disaster in 1958 is a well-known tragedy in the club’s history. However, lesser known is the fact that two of the survivors, Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes, went on to lift the European Cup ten years later in 1968, an incredible comeback story of resilience and triumph.

3. The First English Club to Win the European Cup

In 1968, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup, now known as the UEFA Champions League. This historic victory came a decade after the Munich air disaster, marking a significant moment in the club’s history.

4. The Busby Babes

The “Busby Babes” is a term affectionately used to describe a group of young players managed by Sir Matt Busby in the 1950s. While this is well known, not many know that the average age of the team in the 1955-56 season was just 22, an extraordinarily young squad to win the league title.

5. On the Silver Screen and in Literature

Manchester United’s influence extends beyond the football pitch and into the realms of film and literature. The club has been featured in several films, including the documentary “The Class of ’92,” which chronicles the rise of six legendary players from the club’s youth team to international fame. In literature, the club finds a mention in Nick Hornby’s famous book “Fever Pitch,” which, while primarily about Arsenal, reflects on the broader impact of football in the UK, including significant moments involving Manchester United.

6. Unusual Kit Colours

Manchester United is famous for its red kit, but the club has worn several unusual colours in the past. For instance, in 1909, they wore a white kit with a red “V” sash for the FA Cup Final.

7. A Theatrical Nickname

The nickname “The Red Devils” was adopted in the early 1960s. Before this, the club was known as “The Heathens.” The change was inspired by Sir Matt Busby, who wanted to reflect the team’s spirit and ambition.

8. Old Trafford’s Original Capacity

When Old Trafford opened in 1910, it had a capacity of 80,000, making it the largest club football stadium in England at the time. This fact is often overshadowed by the stadium’s current status and modern expansions.

9. A Trendsetting Televised Match

Manchester United’s match against Arsenal in 1936 was the first-ever televised football game in the world. This pioneering moment set the stage for the global broadcasting of football that we see today.

10. An Unlikely Temporary Home

During World War II, Old Trafford was damaged by German bombing raids. As a result, Manchester United had to play their “home” games at Maine Road, the home of their local rivals, Manchester City, from 1941 to 1949. This ground sharing highlighted, in incredibly tough times, that some things are more important than football rivalry.

11. A Groundbreaking Sponsorship Deal

In 1982, Manchester United signed a deal with Sharp Electronics, marking one of the first instances of shirt sponsorship in English football. This groundbreaking move paved the way for commercial sponsorships in the sport.

12. A Unique Academy Record

Manchester United holds the record for including at least one academy graduate in every matchday squad since October 1937. This impressive streak highlights the club’s commitment to developing young talent.

In Conclusion

Manchester United’s journey is a tapestry of remarkable achievements, unique stories, and fascinating facts that go beyond the commonly known. These 12 lesser-known facts offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of a club that’s much more than just its trophies and star players. The legacy of Manchester United is woven from these and many other intriguing snippets of history.

Your Turn!

Do you have any lesser-known facts about Manchester United that you think should have made the list? Feel free to share your knowledge and fire over your fact via our contact page. Any facts used will be credited!


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