A brief history...
Manchester United are English football's best-supported team and also its most successful since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. After waiting 26 years for a league title they have been crowned champions eight times in the last 13 seasons and now stand second only to northwest Liverpool in terms of silverware won.
The glamour of the modern-day Old Trafford is a different world from United's humble origins as Newton Heath LYR (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway), a club founded by railway workers in 1878. After joining the Football League in 1892, they changed their name to Manchester United a decade later and in 1908 celebrated their first league championship.
It was not until after the Second World War, however, that United began to build a reputation for winning football and the man responsible for this was Scotsman Matt Busby. He arrived at a club who were playing their matches at neighbouring Manchester City due to bomb damage to Old Trafford during the war. Yet under his guidance, team and stadium developed together. After winning three league titles in the 50s, however, his exciting young side, the 'Busby babes', was decimated by the Munich air crash of February 1958 which occurred on the way back from a European Champion Clubs' Cup tie in Belgrade and claimed the lives of 23 people, eight of them players.
Busby recovered from serious injuries to build another team, featuring such greats as Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, and a decade later he saw them win the European Cup for the first time with a 4-1 win over Benfica at Wembley. However, the successes of the 60s gave way to a relatively barren period in the 70s and it was not until Sir Alex Ferguson took the reins in 1986 that another era of glory opened at Old Trafford.
As with Busby, Ferguson saw the importance of youth and struck gold with a generation of youngsters including Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Paul Scholes. After ending the long wait for a league title in 1993, United dominated English football for the next ten years and in 1999 beat Bayern Munich in Barcelona to capture the European Cup for a second time.