Manchester United History Quiz: How Well Do You Know The Early Years of The Club?

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All great football teams have humble beginnings. There are stories of great success but bigger failures; the riches of trophies but the threat of bankruptcies; the years of dominance but decades of living under the shadows of others. All these bits add to a great past and Manchester United has a great history to tell. In this fun quiz, we will look back at the early years from when the club was founded till the days of WW II.

Before the club was named Manchester United, it was called ______________?

Manchester Celtic
Manchester Central
Newton Heath LYR
Small Heath
✘ Wrong

Manchester United was set up as Newton Heath LYR. The team was started by the employees of the Carriage and Wagon division of Lancashire and Yorkshire Railways, which also leased a local pitch for the team.

In which year was Manchester United founded?

✘ Wrong

Manchester United / Newton Heath was founded in the year 1878. In the early years of its inception, Newton Heath played other railway division teams. In the 1880s the team participated in local competitions around the region like the Lancashire cup, and Manchester and District cup.

The club entered the FA cup in the 1886-87 season, drawing 2-2 with Fleetwood Rangers in the first game. The Manchester United captain, Jack Powell , refused to play the extra-time and the tie was handed to the opponents. United boycotted the tournament till 1889 as protest.

Which of these of was the first Manchester United kit?

Manchester United Kit 1879–1880
Manchester United Kit 1880–1887
Manchester United Kit 1887–1893
Manchester United Kit 1893–1894
✘ Wrong

The first kit wasn't the red and white of today. Manchester United started with the white and navy colors; shifting to the iconic yellow, green and white in 1880. The red, white and navy version lasted from 1887 to 1893.

Manchester United was one of the founding members of the Football League.

✘ Wrong

No, Manchester United wasn't amongst the founding members of the Football League. Infact, Newton Heath's application was actually rejected by the Football League in 1888, which lead them to starting their own league called The Combination. A year later, financial difficulties meant that The Combination had to shut down. Another application to the football league was rejected in the 1890, after which Newton Heath joined the Football Alliance.

Newton Heath finished eighth that year. In 1892, United finally joined the Football League after a merger of the Football Alliance with the Football League. Manchester United, who were allowed to play in the first division, did not make much of the opportunity, finishing in the bottom. They were saved from relegation after a play-off win against Small Heath - the present day Birmingham City F.C.

Manchester United were relegated to the Second Division after losing the play-off match to _________.

Manchester City
✘ Wrong

Manchester United followed the disappointing result from the previous season with another bottom of the league finish in the 1893–94 season. This time they had to face Liverpool in the playoff and lost 2-0. United became the first team ever to be relegated in the Football League.

Financial problems followed soon after, forcing the club to raise money. The club set up a four-day fundraising effort, with the captain Harry Stafford's St.Bernand holding on to the collection box. One day the dog decided to run away with the money to a local pub owned by John Henry Davies, a wealthy man from Manchester. This lead to the chance meeting of Stafford and Davies, who was told of the plight of the club. Deciding to help, John Henry Davies raised £2,000 from investors to pull Manchester United out of bankruptcy.

In which year did Newton Heath change its name to Manchester United?

✘ Wrong
John Henry Davies Manchester United
John Henry Davies. Credit: Wikimedia

Along with saving the club, John Henry became the club president. Newton Heath had long disassociated itself from its railway days and as part of its new image, the club was renamed as Manchester United on 24 April 1902. The club got new kit colours - the famous red and the white of Manchester.

In which season did Manchester United win its first league title?

✘ Wrong

While saved from financial catastrophe, the league position however looked abysmal, with little hope for promotion. Ernest Mangnall was signed as the manager, in a hope to turn the team around and win promotion to the top league. Three years later Mangnall's United jumped to the First Division, after which, he built a strong team by acquiring players who left the rival Manchester city following a scandal. In the 1907-08 season, Manchester United won their first league title.

In which season did United win the first FA Cup title?

✘ Wrong
Manchester United Team with Trophies 1908-1909
Manchester United 1908-09 with League Trophy, FA Cup and Charity Shield. Credit: Wikimedia

The year after winning the league, Manchester United beat Bristol Rover 1-0 in the F.A Cup final of the 1908–09 season.

Who did Manchester United play in the first game at Old Trafford?

Manchester City
✘ Wrong
Manchester United Team with Trophies 1911-1912
Manchester United 1911-12 posing with the League trophy won previous season. Credit: Wikimedia

John Henry - who last time saved Manchester United from ruins - funded the £60,000 move to Old Trafford, where a new stadium was being built for Manchester United. On 19 February 1910,United played Liverpool in their very first game at the stadium, but lost 3-4 to their Merseyside rivals. The following season however brought success, as United beat Aston Villa again to the title by just 1 point and followed it with the Charity shield win.

Ernest Mangnall left Manchester United in 1912 to join which club?

Manchester City
Real Madrid
✘ Wrong

Ernest Mangnall left for Manchester City, the beginning of a long crisis at Manchester United. The Football Betting Scandal found three United players guilty in 1915, handing them a lifetime ban. That season the club avoided relegation by just 1 point. The return of football after WW1 saw United being relegated in the 1921-22 season.

In the next two decades United moved up and down the two league divisions. In 1931, Manchester United were almost relegated to Third Division, saved only by the crucial 2-0 win against Milwall. The 1935-36 season saw the club win the Second Division, however, the club was relegated again the following season. United returned back to the First Division in 1938, but the football league was suspended on the event of WW II couple of years later.

Part 2 of the Manchester United History Quiz coming soon!

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