The Early Years: 1878 - 1939The story of Manchester United begins in 1878 when employees of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company's Carriage and Wagon Works requested permission and sponsorship from their employers to start a football team. Permission was given, and Newton Heath LYR (which stood for "Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway") was born, playing at a pitch on North Road.
Initially they played against other teams of railway workers, within their own company and against teams from other companies, but in 1885, they entered in the Manchester Cup competition and reached the final. The next year, they won the competition.
The Football AllianceAlthough Newton Heath were not good enough to join the Football League, they were quickly outpacing their local competition. Newton Heath spent the first ten months of 1888 unbeaten at their home ground. However, the idea of inter-town football had caught on, and in 1889, a group of twelve clubs, Newton Heath among then, formed the Football Alliance. They finished eighth.
The next year, Newton Heath began to sever their railway ties, dropping "LYR" from their official name. However, strong connections remained intact; although they no longer were sponsored by the company, most of their players were still LYR employees.
In 1893, the team moved to a new ground in Bank Street, Clayton, next to a chemical plant. It was said that when Newton Heath were losing, the plant would belch out acrid fumes in a bid to affect the visiting team. The 1893-94 campaign, however, was no better, and they once again were in the relegation playoff against Liverpool. This time Newton Heath were defeated 2-0 and gained the dubious honour of being the first team to be relegated to the Second Division.
Old Trafford1909 was also a milestone for United for another reason. John Henry Davies once again lent financial support by lending £60,000, a huge sum at the time, to finalise the team's move to Old Trafford. They played their first game there on 19 February 1910 as Liverpool spoiled the celebrations with a 4-3 win in a close game.
Ernest Mangnall's leadership brought United to their first successful era. They would be the first winners of the Charity Shield in 1908, win the F.A Cup in 1909 and the League again in 1911. The Charity Shield victory in 1911 would be the end of this era and J Ernest Mangnall would leave the next year for Manchester City.
United would stumble without their charismatic manager, narrowly escaping relegation in 1914, before the Football League was suspended at the outbreak of World War 1during which Sandy Turnbull was killed in FranceMunich Air Disaster
United arrived in Yugoslavia to meet Red Star Belgrade in the second leg of the quarter finals. The first leg in Manchester had ended in a 2-1 win for United. United scored three goals quickly, but by the end Red Star managed to claw back to level it 3-3 after 90 minutes. The Reds went through to the semi-final 5-4 on aggregate.
The plane, a chartered aircraft, left Belgrade and stopped at Munich to refuel. Take off had to be aborted twice because of boost surging, a common problem in the Elizabethan. The problem was caused by too rich a fuel mixture, which causes the engines to over-accelerate. The problem was exacerbated by the altitude of the Munich airport.
The pilots were able to control the surging on the third takeoff attempt, but as they reached the V1 "decision speed" (after which it is unsafe to abort takeoff), the airspeed suddenly dropped. The aircraft left the runway, crashed through a fence and into a house. The left wing and the tail were ripped off and the starboard side of the fuselage hit a fuel tank and exploded.
Officially, the cause of the accident was build-up of snow on the runway which had caused to aircraft to lose speed and crash...................will continue if its posiible or needed more history.
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