Formed in 1878, originally as Newton Heath LYR (Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway), Manchester United is arguably the most recognisable football club in the world. During its 139-year heritage, the Reds have won 67 trophies enabling the club to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million fans. The record 20-time league title winners have dominated English football for the past 27 years and during that time have won 13 league championships, two Champions Leagues, six FA Cups, five League Cups, a European Cup Winners’ Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, an Inter-Continental Cup and 12 Charity/Community Shields.
The man at the United helm during many of those triumphs was the greatest manager football has ever known: Sir Alex Ferguson. He took charge of Manchester United in November 1986, before retiring in May 2013. The current boss, Jose Mourinho, is one of the game’s biggest characters and most successful ever managers having won trophies at every club he has managed and he already has two to his name as United boss – the League Cup and the Community Shield.
Some of the biggest names in football have pulled on the famous red shirt and run out on Old Trafford's hallowed turf, including Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And the world’s most expensive footballer at present, Paul Pogba, is part of Mourinho’s current squad.
The Reds have always been a popular side, even before the modern period of supremacy. That's largely down to the club's philosophy of playing entertaining, attacking football and placing faith in homegrown talent developed through its impressive youth system. That talent helped inspire two of the most memorable moments in the club’s, and indeed football history. Led by the late, great Sir Matt Busby, United became the first English team to be crowned European champions after beating Benfica 4-1 at Wembley in 1968. That side boasted immense talents, including George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law - three men who, under Sir Matt, would all be voted European Footballer of the Year during their time at Old Trafford. And on what would have been Sir Matt’s 90th birthday, 26 May 1999, the Reds won the European Cup for a second time and in turn claimed an unprecedented Treble after a dramatic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich, courtesy of two injury-time goals. It was the kind of finale that only Manchester United could conspire to craft and no moment better encapsulates the magic and romance of this unique club.
United remain one of the most respected and revered football teams on the planet – home to some of the world’s greatest players and, in Old Trafford, boast a stadium that fully deserves its nickname, the Theatre of Dreams.