1909/10 – Manchester United

Man Utd squad picture 1909/10
The 1909–10 season was Manchester United’s 18th season in the Football League and fourth in the First Division.

In February 1910, the club moved from their old ground at Bank Street to a new home at Old Trafford. Before 1902, Manchester United were known as Newton Heath, during which time they first played their football matches at North Road and then Bank Street in Clayton. However, both grounds were blighted by wretched conditions, the pitches ranging from gravel to marsh, while Bank Street suffered from clouds of fumes from its neighbouring factories.  Therefore, following the club’s rescue from near-bankruptcy and renaming, the new chairman John Henry Davies decided in 1909 that the Bank Street ground was not fit for a team that had recently won the First Division and FA Cup, so he donated funds for the construction of a new stadium. Not one to spend money frivolously, Davies scouted around Manchester for an appropriate site, before settling on a patch of land adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal, just off the north end of the Warwick Road in Old Trafford.

Designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who designed several other stadia, the ground was originally designed with a capacity of 100,000 spectators and featured seating in the south stand under cover, while the remaining three stands were left as terraces and uncovered. Including the purchase of the land, the construction of the stadium was originally to have cost £60,000 all told. However, as costs began to rise, to reach the intended capacity would have cost an extra £30,000 over the original estimate and, at the suggestion of club secretary J. J. Bentley, the capacity was reduced to approximately 80,000. Nevertheless, at a time when transfer fees were still around the £1,000 mark, the cost of construction only served to reinforce the club’s “Moneybags United” epithet, with which they had been tarred since Davies had taken over as chairman.

In May 1908, Archibald Leitch wrote to the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) – who had a rail depot adjacent to the proposed site for the football ground – in an attempt to persuade them to subsidise construction of the grandstand alongside the railway line. The subsidy would have come to the sum of £10,000, to be paid back at the rate of £2,000 per annum for five years or half of the gate receipts for the grandstand each year until the loan was repaid. However, despite guarantees for the loan coming from the club itself and two local breweries, both chaired by club chairman John Henry Davies, the Cheshire Lines Committee turned the proposal down.

The CLC had planned to build a new station adjacent to the new stadium, with the promise of an anticipated £2,750 per annum in fares offsetting the £9,800 cost of building the station. The station – Trafford Park – was eventually built, but further down the line than originally planned.[6] The CLC later constructed a modest station with one timber-built platform immediately adjacent to the stadium and this opened on 21 August 1935. It was initially named United Football Ground, but was renamed Old Trafford Football Ground in early 1936. It was served on match days only by a shuttle service of steam trains from Manchester Central railway station.

Construction was carried out by Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester and development was completed in late 1909. The stadium hosted its inaugural game on 19 February 1910, with United playing host to Liverpool. However, the home side were unable to provide their fans with a win to mark the occasion, as Liverpool won 4–3. A journalist at the game reported the stadium as “the most handsomest [sic], the most spacious and the most remarkable arena I have ever seen. As a football ground it is unrivalled in the world, it is an honour to Manchester and the home of a team who can do wonders when they are so disposed”.

The first game at Old Trafford took place on 19th February, 1910. A crowd of 45,000 saw Liverpool beat Manchester United 4-3. This attendance record was beaten a few weeks later when 50,000 saw United beat Bristol City 2-1. The following season, 65,000 watched a FA Cup tie against Aston Villa.

United finished in fifth place but were unable to successfully defend the FA Cup.

 

First Division

Date Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
1 September 1909 Bradford City H 1 – 0 Wall 12,000
4 September 1909 Bury H 2 – 0 J. Turnbull (2) 12,000
6 September 1909 Notts County H 2 – 1 J. Turnbull, Wall 6,000
11 September 1909 Tottenham Hotspur A 2 – 2 J. Turnbull, Wall 40,000
18 September 1909 Preston North End H 1 – 1 Roberts 13,000
25 September 1909 Notts County A 2 – 3 S. Turnbull (2) 11,000
2 October 1909 Newcastle United H 1 – 1 Wall 30,000
9 October 1909 Liverpool A 2 – 3 S. Turnbull (2) 40,000
16 October 1909 Aston Villa H 2 – 0 Halse, S. Turnbull 20,000
23 October 1909 Sheffield United A 1 – 0 S. Turnbull 30,000
30 October 1909 Arsenal H 1 – 0 Wall 20,000
6 November 1909 Bolton Wanderers A 3 – 2 Homer (2), Halse 20,000
13 November 1909 Chelsea H 2 – 0 S. Turnbull, Wall 10,000
20 November 1909 Blackburn Rovers A 2 – 3 Homer (2) 40,000
27 November 1909 Nottingham Forest H 2 – 6 Halse, Wall 12,000
4 December 1909 Sunderland A 0 – 3 12,000
18 December 1909 Middlesbrough A 2 – 1 Homer, S. Turnbull 10,000
25 December 1909 Sheffield Wednesday H 0 – 3 25,000
27 December 1909 Sheffield Wednesday A 1 – 4 Wall 37,000
1 January 1910 Bradford City A 2 – 0 S. Turnbull, Wall 25,000
8 January 1910 Bury A 1 – 1 Homer 10,000
22 January 1910 Tottenham Hotspur H 5 – 0 Roberts (2), Connor,Hooper, Meredith 7,000
5 February 1910 Preston North End A 0 – 1 4,000
12 February 1910 Newcastle United A 4 – 3 S. Turnbull (2), Blott,Roberts 20,000
19 February 1910 Liverpool H 3 – 4 Homer, S. Turnbull, Wall 45,000
26 February 1910 Aston Villa A 1 – 7 Meredith 20,000
5 March 1910 Sheffield United H 1 – 0 Picken 40,000
12 March 1910 Arsenal A 0 – 0 4,000
19 March 1910 Bolton Wanderers H 5 – 0 Halse, Meredith, Picken, J. Turnbull, Wall 20,000
25 March 1910 Bristol City H 2 – 1 Picken, J. Turnbull 50,000
26 March 1910 Chelsea A 1 – 1 J. Turnbull 25,000
28 March 1910 Bristol City A 1 – 2 Meredith 18,000
2 April 1910 Blackburn Rovers H 2 – 0 Halse (2) 20,000
6 April 1910 Everton H 3 – 2 J. Turnbull (2), Meredith 5,500
9 April 1910 Nottingham Forest A 0 – 2 7,000
16 April 1910 Sunderland H 2 – 0 S. Turnbull, Wall 12,000
23 April 1910 Everton A 3 – 3 Homer, S. Turnbull, Wall 10,000
30 April 1910 Middlesbrough H 4 – 1 Picken (4) 10,000
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA Pts
4 Newcastle United 38 19 7 12 70 56 45
5 Manchester United 38 19 7 12 69 61 45
6 Sheffield United 38 16 10 12 62 41 42

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

FA Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A ResultF – A Scorers Attendance
15 January 1910 First Round Burnley A 0 – 2 16,628
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