Manchester United Football Club was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. Workers at the Railway applied to their employers for their assistance in setting up a team and decided to add ‘LYR’ to their name in order to distinguish them from local side Newton Heath Loco.
The team initially played games against other departments and rail companies at their home ground at North Road in Monsall. In 1879, the club assumed the colours of the railway company, which were gold and green. The shirts were green and gold halves, with white shorts and black socks.
On 20th November 1880, Newton Heath LYR played their first officially recorded game, a 6-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers Reserves.
In the 1882/83 season, Newton Heath LYR played 26 recorded friendly matches before taking the step into competitive football the year after.
By this time Newton Heath had adopted an away strip of white shirts, shorts, and black socks.
Three friendly games were played as a warm up for the club’s first ever recognised competitive fixture, a Lancashire Cup game at home to Blackburn Olympic Reserves, which was closely contested until half time – the second period saw Olympic score a number of goals to record a comprehensive victory.
The 26th January fixture against Haughton Dale was played 15 minutes each way.
The 1st March fixture against Hurst Brook Olympic was abandoned after 30 minutes after the match ball went into a nearby river.
|Date||Round||Opponents||H / A||ResultF – A||Scorers||Attendance|
|27 October 1883||Round 1||Blackburn Olympic
|H||2 – 7||Unknown|
Recorded Friendly Games 1883-84
|Date||Opponents||H / A||ResultF – A||Scorers||Attendance|
|6 October 1883||Astley Bridge ‘A’||H||0 – 1||Unknown|
|13 October 1883||Haughton Dale||H||2 – 2||Unknown|
|20 October 1883||St. Helen’s||A||3 – 2||Unknown|
|1 December 1883||Manchester Arcadians||H||4 – 0||Unknown|
|8 December 1883||Earlestown||A||0 – 8||Unknown|
|5 January 1884||Bootle Wanderers||H||6 – 0||Unknown|
|12 January 1884||Bentfield||A||1 – 1||Unknown|
|19 January 1884||St Helen’s||H||3 – 1||Unknown|
|26 January 1884||Haughton Dale||A||1 – 0||Unknown|
|30 January 1884||St. Helen’s||H||3 – 1||Latham, Morris, unknown|
|2 February 1884||Greenheys||H||1 – 0||Unknown|
|9 February 1884||Bootle Wanderers||A||1 – 1||Unknown|
|23 February 1884||Blackburn Olympic XI||H||0 – 0||Unknown|
|1 March 1884||Hurst Brook Olympic||A||1 – 3||own goal|
|8 March 1884||Manchester Arcadians||A||4 – 0||Unknown|
|15 March 1884||Astley Bridge Reserves||A||0 – 0||Unknown|
|29 March 1884||Greenheys||A||1 – 5||Black|