When Was Old Trafford Built: The Complete History

Published by Chris Jenkins
29th Feb 2024

Old Trafford is one of the most famous football stadiums in the world and is been steeped in a history of success and splendour for Manchester United fans across the world. As one of the biggest clubs in the sport, United and Old Trafford have always been mutually exclusive with one another making it one of the iconic stadiums.

In this blog post, we are going to be discussing when Old Trafford was built and will expand on the great history that has been experienced throughout the many years since its inception in football.


When Was Old Trafford Built?

Old Trafford Stadium was officially opened on the 19th of February 1910 with the capability of housing a total of roughly 80,000 fans in its east stand, west stand, north stand and south stand combined. From the very beginning, Old Trafford has been the home of Manchester United and there are no plans for this change in the future.

After its conception, the only times that Old Trafford has been closed permanently for an extended period of time was in 1941 due to the Second World War and during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.


The Appointment of Sir Matt Busby (1945)

One of Manchester United’s most famous managers for bringing a wealth of success to the club, 1945 saw the introduction of Sir Matt Busby after the end of World War Two and the return of football after four long years.

Sir Matt is commonly regarded as one of the most important men in the history of the club, even having an area outside the stadium named after him, the Matt Busby Way. He managed to coach incredible talents like World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law to great heights not seen before by the Red Devils.


Winning the First Division Title (1952)

1956 saw Manchester United win their very first league title by winning the First Division of English football, as it was then called. Sir Matt Busby’s United side beat a strong Tottenham team to the title to make it the first time at Old Trafford and the first time in 41 years.

While the club had won a league title before, this marked the beginning of a new era for the Red Devils as they looked to continue their vast success into the future. Following this triumph would be a period of plenty of trophies under Sir Matt that would shape the club’s future philosophy.


First European Cup Win (1968)

Matt Busby’s great success at the helm of Manchester United continued throughout his tenure as he won multiple league titles and won the club’s very first European Cup in 1968 making this team a crop of living legends for the club.

The European Cup was the final trophy that they felt like they needed to win to have completed football under Sir Matt, this was the final piece of the puzzle that cemented him and the team as club legends forever.


Sir Alex Ferguson Becomes Manager (1986)

Since Matt Busby retired in 1971, Manchester United struggled to find the right fit to take them to the next level. For many years Manchester United played second fiddle to teams like Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal during much of the 70s and 80s.

The Red Devils suffered many years without a league title and even got relegated during this time. This was the harsh reality until Ron Atkinson’s departure and the appointment of Sir Alex Ferguson in the 1986/87 season.

Sir Alex Ferguson took English football by storm, taking his group of players from 11th place in his first full season at the club to winning the first-ever Premier League season in 1992/93, a trend that would continue for many years to come.


Premier League Dominance (1992 - 2013)

Sir Alex Ferguson is undoubtedly one of the greatest managers to have ever lived and is certainly one of the greats of English football guiding Manchester United to a staggering 13 Premier League titles in 20 years, winning the treble in 1999 and an impressive double in 2007/08 in the process.

During his tenure, Manchester United was able to attract some of the world’s biggest stars including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham who would all go on to make history in England and elsewhere.

This period of sheer success is one that seems to be a once-in-a-lifetime feat by any manager across any club in England making the Red Devils one of the largest and most successful clubs in the world.


The Modern Day United (2013 - Present)

Since the departure of Sir Alex Furguson, Manchester United has struggled somewhat having not won a Premier League Title since he left even when hiring good managers during this time such as Jose Mourinho, Louis Van Gaal and Erik Ten Hag. This period did not come without its share of trophies, however.

During this time, Manchester United have lifted just four pieces of silverware consisting of two League Cups, an FA Cup and one Europa League trophy which, while prestigious in their own right, has been well below par for a club of the stature of the Red Devils.


Old Trafford and Manchester United

Despite the trials and tribulations in the history of Manchester United, Old Trafford has remained a staple throughout the lifecycle of the club. Old Trafford is one of the most historic stadiums in the world and has become synonymous with success throughout the years.

The history of Old Trafford shows how this legendary stadium has experienced many ups and downs since it first opened in 1910. Now the beloved home of Manchester United FC, the stadium has seen so many unforgettable moments, incredible wins, and impressive footballing ability displayed over the years.

As fans keep coming to its historic grounds for matchdays, Old Trafford stands as a symbol of tradition, excellence, and the strong bond between a club and its supporters.

As the second most successful club in England, Manchester United have a devoted fanbase who will always travel to the games no matter what part of the world they are from. Even if you are not a fan of the club, Old Trafford is certainly a must-see for travelling football fanatics.