Update #13 : United Teams through the ages (Manchester United 1905 - 1906)

Here’s the next update …

After 12 unhappy seasons in the second division 1906 was the year that United finally claimed their place again in the top flight. One of the season’s finest results in the club’s young history was a Cup win over the mighty Aston Villa. Villa had won the League Championship in 1894, 1896, 1897, 1899 and 1900 and they had also won the FA Cup in 1887, 1895, 1897 and 1905. Everyone had Villa as hot favorites to hammer the 2nd division United, but before a record crowd of over 40,000 (gate receipts 1,460 pound) United proceeded to hammer the Villa team 5-1 on the mud bath Clayton pitch. Promotion was clinched with a 3-1 victory over Leeds City (yes they were called City back then) and United finished the season out in style by trouncing Burton United 6-0 at Clayton. When the final whistle blew the crowd invaded the pitch and carried the team shoulder high from the field. Ernest Mangnall addressed the cheering fans and promised them that this was only the beginning, little did he know, he was right!

Taken before the match against either Bristol City or Blackpool in September 1905

Although Manchester did gain promotion, they didn’t win the second division. They finished on the second place with only 4 defeats out of 38 matches played and they scored an unbelievable amount of goals (90). The 1905–06 was Manchester United’s 14th season in the Football League. United finished second in the Second Division and gained promotion to the Football League First Division for the 1906–07 season. In the FA Cup, United reached the fourth round, where they were defeated by Woolwich Arsenal.

Season Statistics 1905-1906

Chairman : John Henry Davies
Manager : Ernest Mangnall
Second Division : 2nd
FA Cup : Fourth Round
Top goalscorer League : Jack Picken (20)
All : Jack Picken (25)
Highest home attendance : 35,500 vs Aston Villa (24 February 1906)
Lowest home attendance : 6,000 vs Leeds City (15 January 1906)
Average home attendance : 16,242

Jack Picken scored the 1st ever competitive hat trick at Old Trafford v Middlesbrough, United won 4-1 & Jack scored all 4 goals

Top goal scorer this season John Jack Barclay Picken

From the 1905 season below is a rare match day photograph. This is a fascinating photograph of what supporting united was like during these times. Notice the fans sat on the roof of the stand.

Manchester United Vs Arsenal at Bank Street, 1906

Remember the Baines card from the last history post, this is who it is believed to be George Wall. This is an original Postcard for George Wall (see the resemblance). He played 316 games for United scored 98 goals cost £175 from Barnsley in 1906 and stayed with United until 1915. A great winger and won an FA Cup medal in 1909 and 2 League Championships in 1908 and 1911

Original Postcard for George Wall

One final thing, early in January 1905 United welcomed unusal visitors to Clayton in the shape of Fulham for an FA cup tie. The London club where members of the southern league and the cup was the only opportunity the northern clubs usually had to size up their southern opponents. It had been some years since a southern league club last visited Clayton for an important fixture.

The tie was considered so attractive that the Athletic News featured it as their front page cartoon (below).

Athletic News January 16th 1905 (Front Page)

Around 16,000 turned up for the tie at Bank Street a disapointing crowd in those days and our cup jynx continued that year. Although the Clayton tie was an epic with a 2-2 draw we lost the replay at 1-0 at a neutral ground (Villa Park).

To be continued …