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Question about Newton Heath/Manchester United


John Simkin
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Guest Gary Loughran
Fans of Manchester United will know that the club was formed in 1878. Their original name was Newton Heath. Does anyone know why they played in green and gold halves? See picture below.

For those watching in black and white the green is to the left of the yellow :news

No idea, great question - A quick google even failed.

Irish migrant workers, Train logos, brewery?

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Irish migrant workers, Train logos, brewery?

You are on the right track? Do you know why they changed to wearing red shirts in 1902? I will give you a clue, a St Bernard dog called "Major".

Here is a photograph of Manchester United playing in their red shirts in a home game against Portsmouth in January 1907. All their early games were played in what appeared to be fog. The smoke was created by the chimneys of the adjacent chemical works.

post-7-1183099867_thumb.jpg

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Guest Gary Loughran
Irish migrant workers, Train logos, brewery?

You are on the right track? Do you know why they changed to wearing red shirts in 1902? I will give you a clue, a St Bernard dog called "Major".

Here is a photograph of Manchester United playing in their red shirts in a home game against Portsmouth in January 1907. All their early games were played in what appeared to be fog. The smoke was created by the chimneys of the adjacent chemical works.

OK I got the answer, Stafford the Captain owned the dog, the fundraiser, Henry of Manchester Brewery takes a liking to said dog, he and Stafford hit it off, etc.

For the first question, I need more that I'm on the right track I'm afraid :( Can't get an answer to why they wore these colours anywhere.

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OK I got the answer, Stafford the Captain owned the dog, the fundraiser, Henry of Manchester Brewery takes a liking to said dog, he and Stafford hit it off, etc.

For the first question, I need more that I'm on the right track I'm afraid :( Can't get an answer to why they wore these colours anywhere.

I would have thought our Manchester United fan, Stephen Turner, would have got this one. Maybe he is on holiday.

In 1878 workers of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) depot at Newton Heath established a football team. They played their home games on a patch of land near the railway depot. The club's shirts were green and gold halves. These were the colours of the LYR.

Like most teams based in the industrial areas, Newton Heath attempted to buy their way to success. Newton Heath began recruiting players by offering good jobs to talented footballers in the railway industry in Manchester. This included international players from Wales and Scotland. This included John Doughty, Roger Doughty and Jack Powell. As the Football Association insisted that football clubs could not pay players, the provision of good jobs for good players was known as "shamateurism".

In October, 1884, clubs who paid their players threatened to form a break-away British Football Association. The Football Association responded by establishing a sub-committee, which included William Sudell, the manager of Preston North End, who had been paying players for several years, to look into this issue. On 20th July, 1885, the FA announced that it was "in the interests of Association Football, to legalise the employment of professional football players, but only under certain restrictions". Clubs were allowed to pay players provided that they had either been born or had lived for two years within a six-mile radius of the ground.

The decision to pay players increased club's wage bills. It was therefore necessary to arrange more matches that could be played in front of large crowds. On 2nd March, 1888, William McGregor circulated a letter to Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, and West Bromwich Albion suggesting that "ten or twelve of the most prominent clubs in England combine to arrange home and away fixtures each season."

J. J. Bentley of Bolton Wanderers and Tom Mitchell of Blackburn Rovers responded very positively to the suggestion. They suggested that other clubs should be invited to the meeting being held on 23rd March, 1888. This included Accrington, Burnley, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Carthusians, and Everton should be invited to the meeting.

The following month the Football League was formed. It consisted of six clubs from Lancashire (Preston North End, Accrington, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers and Everton) and six from the Midlands (Aston Villa, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers). The main reason Sunderland was excluded was because the other clubs in the league objected to the costs of travelling to the North-East. McGregor also wanted to restrict the league to twelve clubs. Therefore, the applications of Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Darwen and Bootle were rejected.

Newton Heath attempted to join the Football League in 1889. When their application was rejected they banded with a group of other clubs to form the Football Alliance. In 1892 the Football League decided to expand into two divisions. As Newton Heath had finished in second place in the Football Alliance that year, they went into the First Division. Unfortunately they finished in 16th place in the 1893-94 season and were relegated.

In truth, without the support of wealthy backers, it was impossible for football clubs to balance the books. Newton Heath therefore had serious financial problems. 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.

The captain of Newton Heath, 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 to distinguish it from Newton Heath.

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Guest Stephen Turner

John, away for the day. Here is an old rhyme about United's first Ground

" As Satan flew over Salford for Hell"

"He became transposed by the sight and the smell"

"Quothe he, which country is this that I roam"

" but I can tell from the stench that I'm not far from home"

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Guest Gary Loughran
OK I got the answer, Stafford the Captain owned the dog, the fundraiser, Henry of Manchester Brewery takes a liking to said dog, he and Stafford hit it off, etc.

For the first question, I need more that I'm on the right track I'm afraid :( Can't get an answer to why they wore these colours anywhere.

In 1878 workers of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) depot at Newton Heath established a football team. They played their home games on a patch of land near the railway depot. The club's shirts were green and gold halves. These were the colours of the LYR.

I just realised while driving up the road that "Being on the right track" was probably a clue in itself :(

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John, away for the day. Here is an old rhyme about United's first Ground:

"As Satan flew over Salford for Hell"

"He became transposed by the sight and the smell"

"Quothe he, which country is this that I roam"

" but I can tell from the stench that I'm not far from home"

Thank you for that. I will add it to my page on Manchester United.

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