Travel Guide for Manchester United and Old Trafford Stadium
Below you will find your perfect guide for going to England to watch Manchester United at Old Trafford!
Headlines from the travel guide:
MANCHESTER UNITED HONOURS
First Division/Premier League: 20 (last 2013)
FA Cup: 12 (last 2016)
League Cup: 5 (last 2017)
European Cup/Champions League: 3 (last 2008)
Cup Winners’ Cup: 1 (1991)
FIFA Club World Cup: 1 (2008)
OLD TRAFFORD STADIUM
Pitch: 105 x 68 m
Opening match: 19 February, 1910 (Manchester U – Liverpool 3-4)
OLD TRAFFORD ADDRESS
Sir Matt Busby Way
OLD TRAFFORD HISTORY
Bank Street in Clayton was home to the players of Newton Heath (later Manchester United) from 1878 to 1910. As Newton Heath teetered on the verge of bankruptcy in 1902 it took JH Davies along with three other men to save the club from extinction.
The area where the team were playing their home games was awful in many respects and so the club decided to build a new arena.
United found their new home in 1908: Salford by the Bridgewater Canal and the industrial area Trafford Park. The stadium would be built along with the Cheshire Lines Committee along its light rail line.
In a document dated May 30, 1908, you can read the following: “The cost is estimated at £ 60,000 and audience capacity is expected to be 100,000 spectators. In addition, expenditure of £10,000 for the light rail station is to be located next to the stadium.”
When it came to the stadium itself, the Atlantic News reported in March 8, 1909: “For the 100,000 spectators there are 12,000 seats in the grandstand and room for 24,000 standing on the opposite side under cover. The remaining 64 000 is allocated to the circular ends behind the goals.”
The building plan was approved on March 2, 1909 by Stretford and District Council with certain modifications to capacity and the height of the stands.
Old Trafford opening match
The opening match against their rivals from Lancashire, Liverpool, took place on February 19, 1910. In the history books you can read that about 45,000 spectators paid admission, but there were at least 50,000 inside the stadium. The crowd was treated to a great match where the home team quickly took the lead 2-0. However, by the time the referee blew for full time, United had lost 4-3.
From 1911 to 1915 the FA Cup final was played at Old Trafford.
The ground earned international recognition in 1926 when England met Scotland in an international match.
In 1934 the club built a roof over the United Road section which is also called the Popular Side. Four years later they built a roof over the corner section right next to the grandstand.
However, for the construction workers and the club it proved to be a waste of time and money.
On the evening of December 22, 1940 Manchester was attacked by German bombers. Much of the city and the stadium was destroyed.
Due to a shortage of building materials and money it was a long time before Old Trafford was able to host matches. United didn’t return home until 1949/50 after spending several years playing their games at Maine Road.
Old Trafford 2000s renovations
The most recent renovation of the stadium took place in 2005/2006. The record attendance for a United home game was set on March 31, 2007 when 76,098 spectators saw United beat Blackburn Rovers 4-1.
But funnily enough, it is not United who hold the overall attendance record at Old Trafford. That was set on March 25, 1939 at an FA Cup semi-final between Grimsby Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers which was watched by 76,962 people.
Old Trafford is England’s second largest football stadium and is ranked as five-star by UEFA. Since 1998 rugby’s Super League Grand Final has also been played here.
OLD TRAFFORD DIRECTIONS
From city centre stations to Manchester United Football Ground station.
Metrolink towards Altrincham from Victoria or Piccadilly station. Get off at Old Trafford. It is only a few minutes walk along Warwick Road past the Lancashire Cricket Ground to Sir Matt Busby Way.
Metrolink towards Eccles from Piccadilly station. Get off at Pomona and Exchange Quay. This line is usually not as busy before and after the match.
Please check www.gmpte.com – Transport for Greater Manchester
OLD TRAFFORD BARS
Some options for a beer before the game:
The Trafford, 699 Chester Road
Sam Platts, Trafford Wharf Road
Bishops Blaize, 708 Chester Road
Quadrant, 89 Great Stone Road
Gorse Hill, 886 Chester Road
Red Café is located inside Old Trafford (Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, third floor) and is open every day. However, it is not open to the public on matchdays. It serves food and drinks and you can watch United’s exploits on the big screen TV.
OLD TRAFFORD STADIUM TOUR
Daily 9:40 to 16:30 (except matchdays)
Price (including museum):
£12.00 children and seniors
Family tickets: £54.00 (4 people)
Starting at the Manchester United Museum (Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, 3rd floor).
Book a tour at www.manutd.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 161 868 8,000.
OLD TRAFFORD STORE OPENING TIMES
Sir Matt Busby Way
Monday – Saturday: 9.30 – 18.00
Sunday: 11.00 – 17.00
For information on opening times on matchdays: +44 (0) 161 868 8000
MANCHESTER UNITED TRAINING GROUND
Manchester United’s training ground is located in Carrington, 10 miles west of Old Trafford. In addition to 14 football pitches there are saunas and swimming pools, squash and basketball. And, of course, the media gets a TV studio. The area is surrounded by a 2.4 km fence and 30 000 trees – all to keep prying eyes out…
MANCHESTER UNITED CLUB HISTORY
The club was founded in 1878 by a team of railway workers under the name Newton Heath Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Cricket and Football Club. Newton Heath first played in the league in 1892. Ten years later the club went bankrupt but brewery owner John Henry Davies invested money to resurrect the club – now called Manchester United.
A bribery scandal at United’s rivals Manchester City forced them to sell 17 of their players. Welshman Billy Meredith was one of those and United looked quickly to get his signature on a contract with the club. With the Welsh Wizard in their team United won the league in 1908 and the FA Cup the following year.
In 1933/34 United were close to falling down to the third division and it was not until the last match against Millwall, another relegation threatened team, that they secured their place in the second division. Manchester City won the FA Cup in the same week and won of their players was a certain Matt Busby …
In 1945 this man signed a five-year contract as manager of United. With Matt Busby at the helm, United won the 1948 FA Cup. It had been 37 years since the club last won the league and 39 years since the last FA Cup success.
That brought the crowds flocking back. More than one million spectators passed through the Old Trafford turnstiles during the season and the club could free itself from all its debts.
Manchester United: The Busby Babes
The fifties was the decade when the Busby Babes were a concept. The FA Youth Cup was founded in 1953 and United took home the trophy for five consecutive years. With young hungry players in the team United won the league in 1952, 1956 and 1957. When Duncan Edwards made his debut in United’s first team in 1953, he was only 16 years and 185 days old.
In a historic match at Highbury on February 1, 1958, Arsenal defeated United 5-4. Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton were among the scorers. This was the last game on English soil for the Busby Babes.
On the way home from a European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade United’s plane crashed on the runway at Munich. Among those killed were eight of the team’s players, including Duncan Edwards.
The clock that hangs in the club’s offices at Old Trafford remains stopped. The hand is stationary at 3:40, the hour when the plane crashed on February 6, 1958.
Manchester United: Best, Law and Charlton
In the sixties the trio of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton brought glory to United: FA Cup winners in 1963, league titles in 1965 and 1967. and to crown it all United won the European Cup in 1968 at Wembley after beating Benfica. The match finished 4-1 and United scored three goals in extra time.
Ten years after the tragedy in Munich, United were the biggest club in Europe. Matt Busby was knighted the following year and finished his illustrious career as a manager.
In November 1986 another legendary manager, Alex Ferguson, arrived at the club. Under the direction of Ferguson United lined up titles in the nineties. Two goals by Mark Hughes gave the club the 1991 Cup Winners Cup against Barcelona (where Hughes used to play). With Eric Cantona in the team United won the league and cup double in 1994. This feat was repeated two years later.
The biggest year for United was 1999. After once again winning both the league and FA Cup the team lined up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. After six minutes Bayern Munich were ahead. But in time added on goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer snatched the trophy from German hands. United completed a fabulous decade by winning the treble.
Sir Bobby Charlton was their greatest player. A humble gentleman who never complained to the referee and handled the other players with respect and honesty. With his pace, elegance and his stunning shooting this man was lethal.
Matt Busby summed him up: “He is as close to perfection as anyone can get – both as a player and person.”
Manchester United: The Alex Ferguson years
Fifty years after the disaster at Munich, United won the Champions League against Chelsea after a late night finish to the final in Moscow. The game was only decided after extra time and penalties. When the players went up to receive the trophy and medals, the honour of leading them up fell to Bobby Charlton – a fitting tribute to this man and the Busby Babes.
Sir Alex Ferguson ended his magnificent era as manager of Manchester United in 2013 and fittingly, he finished his career with a Premier League title – the 13th in his private collection. In addition, he led the club to five FA Cups and four League Cups. And there were international honours too: first the Cup Winners’ Cup, then the Champions League – twice – and eventually even the FIFA World Cup.
Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford
It is not easy to fill the shoes of Sir Alex, and David Moyes and Louis van Gaal had bitter experiences.
However Jose Mourinho, aided by big money signing Paul Pogba and the arrival of Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovich, won the Europa League in his first season at Old Trafford to earn a coveted Champions League place.
United were the main challengers to rivals City to the Premier League title in 2018 and although they ultimately trailed in the wake of Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking side, Mourinho’s team finished deserved runners-up.
They may not have won the league or Champions League but last season they were rated as the world’s most valuable football club. Zlatan may have left for the USA but the arrival of Brazilian star Fred promises another exciting season at the Theatre of Dreams…
MANCHESTER UNITED FACTS
Today Manchester United has a turnover of billions, but when the club was still called Newton Heath the conditions were completely different. The year was 1902 and the team had to play an away game at Bristol City. The club did not have enough money for train tickets so the players had to knock on doors in order to pay for it.
The club’s first FA Cup success in 1909 saw a tragic end for the club’s mascot Billy the Goat. Player Charlie Roberts had this goat from a theatre company. Billy used to hang out at the pub for a beer after the games but the champagne after the cup success was too much for Billy who died of alcohol poisoning.
When United won the 1911 Charity Shield against Swindon Town 8-4, Harold Halse scored six goals.
The Champions League final in Moscow saw Ryan Giggs come on as a substitute in the 87th minute and overtake Bobby Charlton’s previous record of 758 games played for United. He then took part in the penalty shootout and scored United’s last and decisive penalty to make things even better..
Welshman Ryan Giggs has won 23 titles with United, making him the most trophy-laden player in British football history. He has also scored a goal in all the Premier League’s 19 seasons and lifted the trophy for 12 of these.