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"The opening of Old Trafford (1909-10)" by Steve Horton

Midway through 1909-10 the Mancs abandoned their old Clayton ground because the pitch was a quagmire and smoke from neighbouring chimneys often obscured the spectators' view.  They moved to a futuristic arena at Old Trafford, but their opening party was gatecrashed in spectacular fashion by the Reds.

United's board initially promised to build the largest and finest football stadium in the country with a capacity of 100,000. Although the plans were scaled down to 60,000 it was still impressive and the Sporting Chronicle said that 'as a football ground it is unrivalled in the world'.
The Reds were expected to be lambs to the slaughter and were 2-0 down at half time. Despite pulling one back shortly after the restart, we still trailed 3-1 with 20 minutes to go. But then we tore up the script and after Arthur Goddard had gave us a fighting chance James Stewart struck twice in the closing minutes to give us a 4-3 win.
United were so shocked at our late rally that they were thrashed 7-1 at Aston Villa the week after. But they did get their act together and won all their remaining home games as they went on to finish 5th, with Liverpool in 2nd.  It was a good job they moved in when they did, as just a few weeks later the old wooden stand at Clayton blew down in a gale.


Season:  1909/10
Opposition: Manchester United
Result: 3-4
Scorer(s): James Stewart (2), Arthur Goddard (2)
Venue: Old Trafford



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