1939/40 - Manchester United | Manchester United News
1939/40 – Manchester United

Man Utd Reserve Programme 1939

The only Man Utd reserve programme (v Preston) from 1939/40

The 1939–40 season would have been Manchester United‘s 44th season in the Football League, and their second season back in the top flight after playing in the Second Division in 1937–38. However, due to the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, the league season was abandoned after just three games and the results expunged from the records. For this reason, appearances made and goals scored in the Football League matches that were played do not contribute to a player’s overall appearances and goals record.

Many of Manchester United’s players went off to fight in the war, but for those who remained, the Football League organised a special War League. The War League was originally split into ten regional divisions (Manchester United were placed in the Western Division), in accordance with the Government’s 50-mile travel limit. A War League Cup was also set up to replace the FA Cup, which had also been interrupted at the Preliminary Round phase. United finished the league season with a record of 14 wins and 8 losses, and also reached the second round of the cup before losing to eventual runners-up, Blackburn Rovers.

During the war years United wore three strips and variations of them all. Their red home shirt and white shorts normally had black socks – the only change with this was occasional changes to red and black hooped socks.

The away shirt which had been maroon and white hoops changed for the hoops to become slightly thinner.  The third strip was dark blue shirts, white socks and black socks with blue trim.

First Division

Date Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
26 August 1939 Grimsby Town H 4 – 0 Bryant, Carey, Pearson, Wrigglesworth 22,537
30 August 1939 Chelsea A 1 – 1 Bryant 15,157
2 September 1939 Charlton Athletic A 0 – 2 8,608
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GAve Pts
9 Stoke City 3 1 1 1 7 4 1.75 3
10 Manchester United 3 1 1 1 5 3 1.67 3
11 Chelsea 3 1 1 1 4 4 1.00 3

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GAve = Goal average; Pts = Points

War League Western Division

Man Utd War Western League Programme

Man Utd War Western League Programme

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Date Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
21 October 1939 Manchester City H 0 – 4
28 October 1939 Chester City A 4 – 0 Pearson (2), Smith (2)
11 November 1939 Crewe Alexandra H 5 – 1 Carey, Hanlon, Pearson, Smith, Vose
18 November 1939 Liverpool A 0 – 1
25 November 1939 Port Vale H 8 – 1 Wrigglesworth (5), Asquith, Pearson, Smith
2 December 1939 Tranmere Rovers A 4 – 2 Smith (2), Hanlon, Warner
9 December 1939 Stockport County A 7 – 4 Pearson (2), Smith (2), Hanlon, McKay, own goal
23 December 1939 Wrexham H 5 – 1 Pearson (2), Roughton, Hanlon, Butt
6 January 1940 Everton A 2 – 3 McKay, Smith
20 January 1940 Stoke City H 4 – 3 Jones (2), Butt, Pearson
10 February 1940 Manchester City A 0 – 1
24 February 1940 Chester City H 5 – 1 Carey, Manley, Pearson, own goal (2)
9 March 1940 Crewe Alexandra A 4 – 1 Smith (2), Butt, Pearson
16 March 1940 Liverpool H 1 – 0 Pearson
23 March 1940 Port Vale A 3 – 1 McKay (2), Pearson
30 March 1940 Tranmere Rovers H 6 – 1 Smith (3), McKay, Roberts, Roughton
6 April 1940 Stockport County H 6 – 1 Butt (2), Pearson (2), Roughton, Wrigglesworth
6 May 1940 New Brighton H 6 – 0 Smith (2), Asquith, Butt, Whalley, Wrigglesworth
13 May 1940 Wrexham A 2 – 3 Butt (2)
18 May 1940 New Brighton A 0 – 6
25 May 1940 Stoke City A 2 – 3 Burdett (2)
1 June 1940 Everton H 0 – 3
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GAvg Pts
3 Everton 22 12 4 6 64 33 1.94 28
4 Manchester United 22 14 0 8 74 41 1.80 28
5 Manchester City 22 12 4 16 73 41 1.78 28

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GAvg = Goal average; Pts = Points

War League Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
20 April 1940 First RoundFirst leg Manchester City H 0 – 1
27 April 1940 First RoundSecond leg Manchester City A 2 – 0 Pearson, Wrigglesworth
4 May 1940 Second RoundFirst leg Blackburn Rovers A 2 – 1 Carey, Smith
11 May 1940 Second RoundSecond leg Blackburn Rovers H 1 – 3 Carey
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