On This Day in Football: United play first league game, City concede nine


On this day in 1892, Manchester United played their first ever match in the Football League. Then known as Newton Heath, United lost 4-3 against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Founded in 1878 by employees of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Railways, Newton Heath’s application to join the Football League was rejected several times. This led them to form The Combination – a league competition independent from the official Football League. Clubs participating in this competition hailed mainly from the North West and the Midlands. But confusion, disorganisation and chaotic fixtures led to its demise before the completion of its first season.

In 1889, following another failed attempt to join the Football League, Newton Heath and eleven other clubs formed the Football Alliance.  After three seasons, the two rival leagues incorporated into each other thus creating the Football League Second Division.

Newton Heath were admitted into the First Division for the 1892-93 season. The club finished at the bottom of the table at the end of the campaign and only managed to retain their First Division status by beating Second Division champions Small Heath, or Birmingham City as they are known today, in a play-off. Pictured above is the Newton Heath squad for that season.

Everton smash City

On this day in 1906, Everton humiliated Manchester City by beating them 9-1 at Goodison Park in a First Division fixture.

The Toffees were the reigning FA Cup champions going into the 1906-07 season having beaten Newcastle United 1-0 in the final in April that year. This was the second league game of the new campaign and both teams were winless. City were thumped 4-1 by Arsenal at home in the first week and Everton drew 2-2 away at Middlesbrough.

This result remains Everton’s biggest win margin in the Football League and City’s biggest defeat.

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