1902/03 – Manchester United

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The first team picture of Manchester United. Some players are in the club’s first red shirt while others are in the change strip of light blue and white stripes.

The 1902–03 season was Manchester United’s 11th season in the Football League, and their first season under their new name of “Manchester United”, as opposed to “Newton Heath”.

To give a backdrop of the club’s financial situation – in April 1900, striker Joe Cassidy was sold to Manchester City for £250. The club directors admitted that he was the best forward they had ever had but because of Newton Heath’s serious financial problems he had to be sold. During his time at the club he scored 100 goals in 174 appearances.

In 1901 the club staged a four-day grand bazaar in St James Hall, Oxford Street, Manchester. The club needed to raise £1,000 in order to avoid bankruptcy. Even though Manchester City even made a donation, by the end of the third day it seemed that the venture would prove unsuccessful.

Harry Stafford had the idea of using his St. Bernard dog, Major, to raise money. He wandered amiably between the stalls with a collection box strapped to his back. It was hoped that the dog would attract donations. On the fourth day of the grand bazaar Major escaped from St. James Hall. He eventually found his way to the home of a rich businessman, John Henry Davies, who owned a successful brewery in Manchester. Davies liked the animal and decided to buy the dog for his daughter. When he traced the dog’s owner, Stafford told Davies about the financial position of Newton Heath. The two men became friends and decided to make a takeover bid for the club.

By 1902 Newton Heath was £2,670 in debt and faced a winding-up order. At a shareholders’ meeting in the New Islington Hall, Harry Stafford announced that he and four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies, were willing to takeover the club’s debts. The Football League approved the plan and Newton Heath now became Manchester United. It was also decided that the club would now play in red shirts and white shorts.

Stafford, along with Davies, became a director of Manchester United and James West was appointed as manager. Davies arranged for John J. Bentley to be appointed as president of the club. However, at the end of the 1902-03 season West and Stafford were suspended by the Football Association for making illegal payments to players. In his defence, Stafford claimed: “Everything I have done has been in the interests of the club.”

Second Division

Date Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
6 September 1902 Gainsborough Trinity A 1 – 0 Richards 4,000
13 September 1902 Burton United H 1 – 0 Hurst 15,000
20 September 1902 Bristol City A 1 – 3 Hurst 6,000
27 September 1902 Glossop H 1 – 1 Hurst 12,000
4 October 1902 Chesterfield H 2 – 1 Preston (2) 12,000
11 October 1902 Stockport County A 1 – 2 Pegg 6,000
25 October 1902 Woolwich Arsenal A 1 – 0 Beadsworth 12,000
8 November 1902 Lincoln City A 3 – 1 Peddie (2), Hurst 3,000
15 November 1902 Small Heath H 0 – 1 25,000
22 November 1902 Leicester Fosse A 1 – 1 Downie 5,000
6 December 1902 Burnley A 2 – 0 Pegg, Own goal 4,000
20 December 1902 Burslem Port Vale A 1 – 1 Peddie 1,000
25 December 1902 Manchester City H 1 – 1 Pegg 40,000
26 December 1902 Blackpool H 2 – 2 Downie, Morrison 10,000
27 December 1902 Barnsley H 2 – 1 Lappin, Peddie 9,000
3 January 1903 Gainsborough Trinity H 3 – 1 Downie, Peddie, Pegg 8,000
10 January 1903 Burton United A 1 – 3 Peddie 3,000
17 January 1903 Bristol City H 1 – 2 Preston 12,000
24 January 1903 Glossop A 3 – 1 Downie, Griffiths, Morrison 5,000
31 January 1903 Chesterfield A 0 – 2 6,000
14 February 1903 Blackpool A 0 – 2 3,000
28 February 1903 Doncaster Rovers A 2 – 2 Morrison (2) 4,000
7 March 1903 Lincoln City H 1 – 2 Downie 4,000
9 March 1903 Woolwich Arsenal H 3 – 0 Arkesden, Peddie, Pegg 5,000
21 March 1903 Leicester Fosse H 5 – 1 Fitchett, Griffiths, Morrison,Pegg, Smith 8,000
23 March 1903 Stockport County H 0 – 0 2,000
30 March 1903 Preston North End H 0 – 1 3,000
4 April 1903 Burnley H 4 – 0 Peddie (2), Griffiths,Morrison 5,000
10 April 1903 Manchester City A 2 – 0 Peddie, Schofield 30,000
11 April 1903 Preston North End A 1 – 3 Pegg 7,000
13 April 1903 Doncaster Rovers H 4 – 0 Arkesden, Bell, Griffiths,Morrison 6,000
18 April 1903 Burslem Port Vale H 2 – 1 Schofield (2) 8,000
20 April 1903 Small Heath A 1 – 2 Peddie 6,000
25 April 1903 Barnsley A 0 – 0 2,000
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA Pts
4 Bristol City 34 17 8 9 59 38 42
5 Manchester United 34 15 8 11 53 38 38
6 Chesterfield 34 14 9 11 67 40 37

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

The 6th December 1902 match against Burnley has since emerged as the first ever game to have existing videotape footage of Manchester United in action as a club. Here it is :

 

FA Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
1 November 1902 Third Qualifying Round Accrington Stanley H 7 – 0 Williams (3), Morgan, Peddie, Pegg,Richards 6,000
13 November 1902 Fourth Qualifying Round Oswaldtwistle Rovers H 3 – 2 Beadsworth, Pegg, Williams 5,000
29 November 1902 Fifth Qualifying Round Southport Central H 4 – 1 Pegg (3), Banks 6,000
13 December 1902 Intermediate Round Burton United H 1 – 1 Griffiths 6,000
17 December 1902 Intermediate RoundReplay Burton United A 3 – 1 Peddie, Pegg, Schofield 7,000
7 February 1903 Round 1 Liverpool H 2 – 1 Peddie (2) 15,000
21 February 1903 Round 2 Everton A 1 – 3 Griffiths 15,000
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