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Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. 


Manchester United Football Club was first formed in 1878, albeit under a different name - Newton Heath LYR (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway).

Little suspecting the impact they were about to have on the national, even global game, the workers in the railway yard at Newton Heath indulged their passion for association football with games against other departments of the LYR and other railway companies.

Indeed, when the Football League was formed in 1888, Newton Heath did not consider themselves good enough to become founder members alongside the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End. Instead, they waited until 1892 to make their entrance.


Early years: 1878–87

In 1878 the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company granted permission for the employees of its Carriage and Wagon department to start a football team, which was subsequently named Newton Heath LYR, with Frederick Attock appointed as this new club's president. LYR stood for "Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway" and was used to distinguish the team from their colleagues from the Motive Power Division, who were known as Newton Heath Loco.[1] The team was funded by the railway company, who paid the lease on its first home ground, a field close to the railway yard on North Road. It is said that the players were "tough, diligent men who formed a powerful side";[1] they initially played games against other teams of railway workers, very few of which were recorded.[11] During the 1882–83 season, the team played a total of 26 recorded friendly matches, and the following season competed in the Lancashire Cup but lost 7–2 in the first round to the reserve team of Blackburn Olympic.[12] In 1884, Newton Heath LYR applied for the Manchester and District Challenge Cup and reached the final, which they lost 3–0 to Hurst at Whalley Range.[13] The team never failed to score at least three goals in each of the rounds leading up to the final, including in a first round match against Eccles that had to be replayed after the Eccles management protested about Newton Heath's third goal.[12]

Newton Heath reached the final of the Manchester and District Challenge Cup a further five times, winning all but one. Meanwhile, in 1886, the club began to expand by signing players of national reputation such as Jack Powell, who became club captain, Jack and Roger Doughty, and Tom Burke.[14] In 1886–87 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time and were drawn away to Fleetwood Rangers in the first round; they managed to earn a 2–2 but when club captain Jack Powell refused to play a period of extra time, Fleetwood were awarded the tie. A subsequent unsuccessful protest to the Football Association[14] led to Newton Heath LYR entering a self-imposed exile from the FA Cup, which lasted until 1889.


Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson CBE (born 31 December 1941) is a Scottish former football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is considered one of the greatest managers of all time[6][7][8][9] and he has won more trophies than any other manager in the history of football.[10][11]

Ferguson played as a forward for several Scottish clubs, including Dunfermline Athletic and Rangers. While playing for Dunfermline, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league in the 1965–66 season. Towards the end of his playing career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. Ferguson then enjoyed a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen, winning three Scottish league championships, four Scottish Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup.

Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles.[12] He was knighted in the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to the game.[13] Ferguson is the longest-serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busby's record on 19 December 2010. He retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season.

Manchester united most decorated   Manager



This list encompasses the major honours won by Manchester United and records set by the club, their managers and their players. The player records section includes details of the club's leading goalscorers and those who have made most appearances in first-team competitions. It also records notable achievements by Manchester United players on the international stage, and the highest transfer fees paid and received by the club. The club's attendance records, both at Old Trafford, their home since 1910, and Maine Road, their temporary home from 1946 to 1949, are also included in the list.

The club currently holds the record for the most Premier League titles with 13, and the highest number of English top-flight titles with 20. The club's record appearance maker is Ryan Giggs, who made 963 appearances between 1991 and 2014, and the club's record goalscorer is Wayne Rooney, who scored 253 goals in 559 appearances between 2004 and 2017.

All stats accurate as of match played 24 October 2021.


Winners' and runners-up medals from Manchester United's UEFA Champions League final appearances in 2008, 2009 and 2011

Manchester United's first trophy was the Manchester Cup, which they won as Newton Heath LYR in 1886.[3] Their first national senior honour came in 1908, when they won the 1907–08 Football League First Division title. The club also won the FA Cup for the first time the following year. In terms of the number of trophies won, the 1990s was Manchester United's most successful decade, during which they won five league titles, four FA Cups, one League Cup, five Community Shields (one shared)[A], one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.

The club currently holds the record for most top-division titles, with 20. They were also the first team to win the Premier League, as well as holding the record for the most Premier League titles (13), and became the first English team to win the European Cup when they won it in 1968. Their most recent trophy came in May 2017, when they won the UEFA Europa League.[4]




Paul Scholes has made the third-highest number of appearances for Manchester United.

See also: List of Manchester United F.C. playersList of Manchester United F.C. players (25–99 appearances), and List of Manchester United F.C. players (1–24 appearances)

All current players are in bold

Competitive, professional matches only. Appearances as substitute (in parentheses) included in total.

NameYearsLeague[9]FA Cup[10]League Cup[11]Europe[12]Other[C][13]Total[14]

Ryan Giggs1991–2014672 (117)74 (12)41 (6)157 (23)19 (3)963 (161)

Bobby Charlton1956–1973606 (2)78 (0)24 (0)45 (0)5 (0)758 (2)

Paul Scholes1994–2011
2012–2013499 (95)49 (17)21 (7)134 (21)15 (1)718 (141)

Bill Foulkes1952–1970566 (3)61 (0)3 (0)52 (0)6 (0)688 (3)

Gary Neville1992–2011400 (21)47 (3)25 (2)117 (8)13 (2)602 (36)

Wayne Rooney2004–2017393 (39)40 (7)20 (7)98 (8)8 (1)559 (62)

Alex Stepney1966–1978433 (0)44 (0)35 (0)23 (0)4 (0)539 (0)

Tony Dunne1960–1973414 (0)55 (1)21 (0)40 (0)5 (0)535 (1)

Denis Irwin1990–2002368 (12)43 (1)31 (3)75 (2)12 (0)529 (18)

10 Joe Spence1919–1933481 (0)29 (0)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)510 (0)


Bobby Charlton was Manchester United's highest all-time goalscorer until 2017, when his total of 249 goals was surpassed by club captain Wayne Rooney.

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Overall scorers

Competitive, professional matches only, appearances including substitutes appear in brackets.

NameYearsLeague[24]FA Cup[25]League Cup[26]Europe[27]Other[C][28]Total[29]Goals
per game

Wayne Rooney2004–2017183 (393)22 (40)5 (20)39 (98)4 (8)253 (559)0.45

Bobby Charlton1956–1973199 (606)19 (78)7 (24)22 (45)2 (5)249 (758)0.33

Denis Law1962–1973171 (309)34 (46)3 (11)28 (33)1 (5)237 (404)0.59

Jack Rowley1937–1955182 (380)26 (42)0 (0)0 (0)3 (2)211 (424)0.50

Dennis Viollet1952–1962159 (259)5 (18)1 (2)13 (12)1 (2)179 (293)0.61

 George Best1963–1974137 (361)21 (46)9 (25)11 (34)1 (4)179 (470)0.38

Joe Spence1919–1933158 (481)10 (29)0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)168 (510)0.33

 Ryan Giggs1991–2014114 (672)12 (74)12 (41)29 (157)1 (19)168 (963)0.17

Mark Hughes1983–1986
1988–1995120 (345)17 (46)16 (38)9 (33)1 (5)163 (467)0.35

10 Paul Scholes1994–2011
2012–2013107 (499)13 (49)9 (21)26 (134)0 (15)155 (718)0.22

Ballon d'Or

The following players have won the Ballon d'Or while playing for Manchester United:[30]

European Golden Shoe

The following players have won the European Golden Shoe while playing for Manchester United:

FIFA World Player of the Year

The following players have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award while playing for Manchester United:

UEFA Club Footballer of the Year

The following players have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award while playing for Manchester United:[33]

FIFA Puskás Award

The following players have won the FIFA Puskás Award while playing for Manchester United:


Manchester United's international players are listed in the players' lounge at Old Trafford.

Manchester United's record signing is Paul Pogba, who signed for the club from Juventus for a world record fee of £89.3 million in August 2016.[37][38] The signing of Anthony Martial for £36 million in 2015 set a world record for the transfer of a teenager,[39] and the £80 million paid for Harry Maguire in 2019 was a world record for a defender.


Paul Pogba Juventus£89.3 million[37][38]August 2016

Harry Maguire Leicester City£80 million[40]August 2019

Romelu Lukaku Everton£75 million[41]July 2017

Jadon Sancho Borussia Dortmund£73 million[42]July 2021

Ángel Di María Real Madrid£59.7 million[43]August 2014

Aaron Wan-Bissaka Crystal Palace£50 million[44]June 2019

Fred Shakhtar Donetsk£47 million[45]June 2018

 Bruno Fernandes Sporting CP£47 million[46]January 2020

Nemanja Matić Chelsea£40 million[47]July 2017

10 Juan Mata Chelsea£37.1 million[48]January 2014

Progression of record fee paid

Rio Ferdinand, signed in July 2002 from Leeds United for £29.3 million, then Manchester United's most expensive purchase.

The first transfer for which Manchester United (then Newton Heath) had to pay a fee was the transfer of Gilbert Godsmark from Ashford in January 1900, paying £40 for the forward.}[citation needed] The club's first £1,000 transfer came in 1910, when they signed Leslie Hofton from Glossop.[citation needed] When the club signed Tommy Taylor from Barnsley in 1953, the fee was intended to be £30,000. However, Matt Busby did not want to burden the young player with the "£30,000-man" tag, and Barnsley agreed for the fee to be reduced by £1 to £29,999. Busby then took the extra pound from his wallet and gave it to the lady who had been serving the teas.

Manchester United made their first six-figure signing in August 1962 with the transfer of Denis Law from Torino for £110,000,[citation needed] a new British record.[50] The club broke the British transfer record again in 1981 with the £1.5 million signing of Bryan Robson from West Bromwich Albion.[51] When Andy Cole signed for United in January 1995, the club paid £7 million, almost double their previous record of £3.75 million, which they paid for Roy Keane 18 months earlier.[citation needed] In the summer of 2001, the club broke their transfer record twice in the space of a month, first paying PSV Eindhoven £19 million for Ruud van Nistelrooy, and then £28.1 million to Lazio for Juan Sebastián Verón. Manchester United have broken the British transfer record three times since buying Verón, with the signings of Rio Ferdinand in July 2002,[52] Ángel Di María[citation needed] in August 2014 and Paul Pogba in August 2016.

Transfers in bold are also records for fees paid by British clubs[53][54]

Date Player Bought fromFee

David Beckham was sold to Real Madrid for a then club record of £24.5 million in July 2003.

The club's record sale came in July 2009, when they sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80 million.


Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid£80 millionJuly 2009[57]

Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan£74 millionAugust 2019[58]

Ángel Di María Paris Saint-Germain£44.3 millionAugust 2015[59]

Daniel James Leeds United£25 millionAugust 2021[60]

David Beckham Real Madrid£24.5 millionJune 2003[61]

Morgan Schneiderlin Everton£24 millionJanuary 2017[62]

Memphis Depay Lyon£16 millionJanuary 2017[63]

Danny Welbeck Arsenal£16 millionSeptember 2014[64]

Jaap Stam Lazio£15.25 millionAugust 2001[65]

10 Juan Sebastián Verón Chelsea£15 millionAugust 2003[66]

Progression of record fee received[edit]

The first player for whom Manchester United, then Newton Heath, received a fee was William Bryant, who moved to Blackburn Rovers for just £50 in April 1900. That same month, Manchester City paid five times more for Scottish forward Joe Cassidy. The club's first £1,000 sale came 12 years later with the sale of Harold Halse to Aston Villa.[citation needed]

The club's first British record sale came in March 1949, when Derby County paid £24,500 for Johnny Morris. However, 35 years passed before Manchester United next broke the record for the biggest sale by a British club; the sale of Ray Wilkins to Milan for £1.5 million in June 1984 was also the club's first million-pound sale. Another British record followed two years later with the sale of Mark Hughes to Barcelona for £2.5 million. The club's record sale increased fivefold in the space of two transfers over the next 15 years; first with the £7 million sale of Paul Ince to Internazionale in 1995, and then the 2001 transfer of Jaap Stam to Lazio for £15.25 million.[citation needed] Manchester United broke the world transfer record for the first time in July 2009 with the £80 million sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.[57]

Transfers in bold are also British record transfers

DatePlayerSold toFee

April 1900 William BryantBlackburn Rovers£50[citation needed]

April 1900 Joe CassidyManchester City£250[citation needed]

October 1909 Alex DownieOldham Athletic£600[citation needed]

June 1911 Ted ConnorSheffield United£750[citation needed]

July 1912 Harold HalseAston Villa£1,200[citation needed]

August 1913 Charlie RobertsOldham Athletic£1,750[citation needed]

December 1920 Tommy MeehanChelsea£3,300[citation needed]

September 1937 George MutchPreston North End£5,000[citation needed]

March 1948 Joe WaltonPreston North End£10,000[citation needed]

March 1949 Johnny MorrisDerby County£24,500[citation needed]

January 1962 Dennis ViolletStoke City£25,000[citation needed]

March 1962 Warren BradleyBury£40,000[citation needed]

June 1972 Francis BurnsSouthampton£50,000

June 1972 Alan GowlingHuddersfield Town£60,000

March 1973 Ted MacDougallWest Ham United£130,000

March 1977 Gerry DalyDerby County£175,000

April 1978 Gordon HillDerby County£250,000

August 1979 Brian GreenhoffLeeds United£350,000

October 1980 Andy RitchieBrighton & Hove Albion£500,000

June 1984 Ray WilkinsMilan£1,500,000

August 1986 Mark HughesBarcelona£2,500,000

July 1995 Paul InceInternazionale£7,000,000

August 2001 Jaap StamLazio£15,250,000[65]

June 2003 David BeckhamReal Madrid£24,500,000[61]

July 2009 Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid£80,000,000[57]

Managerial records

See also: List of Manchester United F.C. managers


Sir Bobby Charlton at Manchester Town Hall in November 2010

Personal information

Full nameRobert Charlton[1]

Date of birth11 October 1937 (age 84)

Place of birth AshingtonNorthumberland, England

Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)


Youth career

East Northumberland Schools

1953–1956Manchester United

Senior career*


1956–1973Manchester United758(249)

1974–1975Preston North End38(8)


1978Newcastle KB United1(0)

1980Perth Azzurri3(2)

1980Blacktown City1(1)


National team

1953England Schoolboys4(5)

1954England Youth1(1)

1958–1960England U236(5)


Teams managed

1973–1975Preston North End

1983Wigan Athletic (caretaker manager)


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