Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) depot at Newton Heath. The team initially played games against other departments and rail companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match; wearing the colours of the railway company – green and gold – they were defeated 6–0 by Bolton Wanderers' reserve team. By 1888, the club had become a founding member of The Combination, a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League. This resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the rail company and dropped the "LYR" from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division. In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies (who became club president), each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name; on 24 April 1902, Manchester United was officially born. Under Ernest Mangnall, who assumed managerial duties in 1903, the team finished as Second Division runners-up in 1906 and secured promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1908 – the club's first league title. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City.
Before 1902 they first played their football matches at North Road and then Bank Street in Clayton. However, both grounds were blighted by wretched conditions, the pitches ranging from gravel to marsh, while Bank Street suffered from clouds of fumes from its neighbouring factories. Therefore, following the club's rescue from near-bankruptcy and renaming, the new chairman John Henry Davies decided in 1909 that the Bank Street ground was not fit for a team that had recently won the First Division and FA Cup, so he donated funds for the construction of a new stadium. Not one to spend money frivolously, Davies scouted around Manchester for an appropriate site, before settling on a patch of land adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal, just off the north end of the Warwick Road in Old Trafford. Designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who designed several other stadia, the ground was originally designed with a capacity of 100,000 spectators and featured seating in the south stand under cover, while the remaining three stands were left as terraces and uncovered. Including the purchase of the land, the construction of the stadium was originally to have cost £60,000 all told. However, as costs began to rise, to reach the intended capacity would have cost an extra £30,000 over the original estimate and, at the suggestion of club secretary J. J. Bentley, the capacity was reduced to approximately 80,000. Nevertheless, at a time when transfer fees were still around the £1,000 mark, the cost of construction only served to reinforce the club's "Moneybags United" epithet, with which they had been tarred since Davies had taken over as chairman.
The stadium hosted its inaugural game on 19 February 1910, with United playing host to Liverpool. However, the home side were unable to provide their fans with a win to mark the occasion, as Liverpool won 4–3. A journalist at the game reported the stadium as "the most handsomest [sic], the most spacious and the most remarkable arena I have ever seen. As a football ground it is unrivalled in the world, it is an honour to Manchester and the home of a team who can do wonders when they are so disposed". Old Trafford boasts an excellent museum detailing the glories and tragedies of Manchester United. Audio guide is available. There is also a 90 minute stadium tour available. The Legends Tour includes lunch with a player. The museum is wheelchair friendly with lift access to all floors and accessible toilets on the second and third floors. They have a small number of manual wheelchairs for hire from the ground floor reception of the museum (£10 returnable deposit). The stadium tour can be altered to take into account wheelchair access. It is always good for them to know about this in advance, especially during busy periods. Guide dogs are welcome in the museum and on the stadium tour. If you do wish to take a guide dog on tour, please let them know in advance so that they can make the appropriate arrangements. Guided tours of the museum for visually impaired visitors can be arranged upon request. Going to a Match. All visiting disabled supporters with a ticket in the Wheelchair User or Visually Impaired sections should enter the Stadium at entrance B3. It can be found in the South-East corner of the Stadium. If you obtain a ticket as a wheelchair user you will automatically be granted a free parking place. A matchday audio programme is normally provided to all visually impaired supporters – please speak to the nearest Steward for details. Refreshments for disabled supporters are available from the Ability Suite, which has a low-level accessible kiosk. Cash only at this kiosk. The Ability Suite contains the largest First Aid room in the Stadium along with 8 accessible toilets which are also situated in the same area; please feel free to seek any medical advice if needed. There is a disabled supporters association (MUSDA) which gives very good advice and assistance. Note: Manchester United Football Ground Station is not accessible to wheelchair users.
Location : Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 ORA
Transport: Old Trafford (Metrolink). Manchester United Football Ground (National). Bus routes 76, 255, 256 and 263 stop nearby.
Capacity : 75,653.
Museum : 09:30 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday. 11:00 to 16:00 Sunday. Closed on Match Days
Tours : 09:40 to 16:30 Daily excluding Match Days.
Tickets : Museum and Tour - Adults £18.00. Children/Concessions £12.00
Tickets : Museum - Adults £14.00. Children/Concessions £9.50
Tickets : Legends Tour £120.00
Tel: 0161 868 8000