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Manchester United was first formed under the name Newton Health LYR (Lancashire and York Railway) in 1878, playing against other teams of the LYR or other railway related teams. In 1892 they made their first appearance in the Football League and after overcoming some financial problems due to a new investor, re-invented themselves as Manchester United in 1902.By the end of the decade the club had managed to secure three trophies; the 1907/8 Football League Championship, the first ever Charity Shield in 1908 and the FA Cup in 1909.After two years of building, Old Trafford was ready for the club to move in. They lost their first game there to Liverpool in front of 80,000 spectators, but went on to win the 1910/11 Football League.
Over the following seasons the team performed badly, until the outbreak of war saw the Football League suspended, driving all football clubs to play in regional tournaments. Although this was a particularly bad patch for Manchester United FC as their performance continued to be poor and two players were found guilty of match fixing, both receiving a lifetime ban. One of these players was Sandy Turnbull, a hero of Man United's early years, who went on to die fighting in the Footballer’s Battalion in a battle in France.By the time the First World War had ended and the Football League was up and running again, many of the players and staff were ready to move on. The fresh team weren’t doing badly, until their manager John Chapman was suspended for reasons unknown and the team began to fail, facing two relegations and near banckruptcy. After a poor run, Manchester United managed to secure the Second Division Championship in the 1935/36 season, only to be relegated again in the next. With the outbreak of World War II, football was neglected and to make things worse, Old Trafford was bombed during an air-raid. But there was some hope to be found in the 5 year signing of Matt Busby in 1945. He began to make changes straight away and the club began winning trophies again, in regional and international competitions, including the 1948 FA Cup.
Manchester United’s next goal was to win the Football League Cup and after finishing in the top five for five consecutive seasons, fresh young players helped the side along to win the League Championship 1951/52. They were on a roll and won two consecutive Championship trophies in the mid-1950s. But it wasn’t to last. A match overseas ended in tragedy as the team’s aeroplane crashed on the way back from Europe, killing 22 passengers including 6 Man United players, a seventh later dying from injuries. The club went into a deep state of mourning, but refused to be defeated, reaching the FA Cup Finals 4 months later and coming second in the 1958/59 League Championship.After a difficult couple of seasons, with Bobby Charlton and Denis Law on their side, the club managed to make it to the 1962/63 FA Cup Final. After signing George Best, this dream team won the 1964/65 League Championship and then again in the 1966/67 season.
By the 1970s it was Sir Matt Busby’s time to retire, leaving the dream team to be broken up by transfers, bad managers, Sir Bobby Charlton’s retirement and Best’s rocky private life.The team were bringing themselves out of a bad patch, winning the Second Division Championship, going on to play in FA Cup Finals, and winning silverware, before the manager Docherty was sacked. Man City struggled under Dave Sexton’s management for a significant place in the late 70’s, losing another FA Cup final in 1979. After Sexton was sacked in 1981, Ron Atkinson went about building a sturdy team over the next few years, but struggled to gain much success with such big competition as Liverpool FC. Manchester United managed to secure a close 1985 FA Cup against Everton in the final, but Atkinson was sacked for his failure in the League Championships.Alex Ferguson came to the clubs rescue in 1986, after having a strong track record of winning silverware. After a few slow seasons for Man United, the invincible Liverpool of the 1980s was ageing, leaving room for other teams to take their place.
Man United began to look strong again, finishing higher up in tournaments and winning the 1990 FA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup. With the help of Eric Cantona 1992 the club went on to win more silverware and the FA Cup Double. In 1997, Eric Cantona announced his retirement leaving the Manchester United team and fans crestfallen. With their guard down, Arsenal snuck in to win the 1997/98 Double.But Manchester United soon bounced back, winning a magnificent Triple and earning their manager, Alex Ferguson, a knighthood. After traveling to Tokyo, winning the Inter-Continental Cup, the club had a quadruple under their belt and were officially named World Club Champions to finish off the millennium. The club saw in the Millennium by taking part in the FIFA Club World Championship and won their sixth Premiership. With the help of new goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, the club won their third successive title.
With the help of Rio Ferdinand Man United regain their Premiership title. His 8 month ban meant that the club couldn’t repeat this the following year, but fought back to win the FA Cup for a record beating eleventh time. The 2004 Carling Cup was next to come for the team who now had Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo on their side.With a healthy team, the club were unstoppable, winning the 2007, ’08, ’09 and ’11 Premier League, the 2008 European Cup, the 2008 FIFA Cup World Cup, the 2010 Football League Cup and most recently the 2013 Premier League Cup.
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