Manchester United was founded in 1878 and originally called the Newton Health L&YR Football Club because the team's players worked for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. It is one of England's most prestigious football clubs. It is nicknamed the "Red Devils" and has borne its present name since 1902.
The team experienced a few successes during the first decades but it was not until after WWII that Manchester United began showing its true potential thanks to Matt Busby. The team won two consecutive league titles between 1955 and 1957. Then came the blackest moment of MU's history. The plane carrying the team back to England after the European Cup in 1958 crashed after refuelling in Munich. Eight players died.
Following several shifts in management during the 1960s and 1970s, Alex Ferguson was appointed in 1986 and four years later the team won the FA Cup. Afterwards, Manchester United went on to win about 25 major tournaments in 20 years. During that period of time, the Red Devils became the first English club to win a Treble: The FA Cup, the Premier League and the UEFA Champions league.
Over the years, Manchester United has won 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, 3 UEFA Champions Leagues and one FIFA Club World Cup among others.
A team is only as strong as its players. Some of MU's prominent players are: Stan Pearson, Johhny Carey, Duncan Edwards, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law, Gordon Strachan, Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie.
Some players have played a larger role than others. William Anthony "Bill" Foulkes, for instance, is one of the survivors of the 1958 plane crash. He played for Manchester United for 19 years. Another well-known player is Wayne Mark Rooney. In total, he made 559 appearances. Many of the current MU players are also national team players in their country of origin, such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Labile Pogba, Bastian Schweinsteiger and David de Gea Quintana.
In 2016-2017, Manchester United became the football club with the highest earnings and the most valuable club in the world. The professional club is worth around £2.86 billion and had an annual revenue of €576.3 million for the 2016-2017 season.
Manchester United is considered to be a global brand that was worth £412 million according to a Brand Finance report in 2011. The football club even made it to the top of the Forbes list of most valuable sports teams in 2017 with a value of $3.689 billion.
With an estimated number of 750 million fans across the globe, Manchester United is one of the most supported football clubs worldwide. Thanks to social media, the Red Devils have about 73 million followers on Facebook, around 10 million on Twitter and 17 million on Instagram. The Manchester United matches are followed by an impressive 2 billion viewers around the world each season.
There are over 200 Manchester United Supporters Clubs (MUSC) that are officially registered in more than 50 countries. In addition, there is a Manchester United fanzine called EDNEWS which is sold on match days at Old Trafford Stadium.
Manchester United has been playing at the Old Trafford Stadium in Greater Manchester since 1910. The only exception was from 1941 to 1949, when Old Trafford had to be renovated due to WWII bombings. Manchester United had to share Manchester City's home grounds, Maine Road.
It is currently the second largest football stadium in the UK with a capacity of 74,994, although there are plans to raise the capacity to 80,000. Old Trafford, also called "The Theatre of Dreams", has hosted FA Cup semi-finals, matches of the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, as well as the 2003 Champions League Final. In 2012, some football matches of the Summer Olympics took place there.