General

Old Trafford picture special: How Manchester United's iconic stadium has evolved over 106 years as Jose Mourinho prepares to make it his new home

  • Jose Mourinho will make his Old Trafford debut on Wednesday evening as he leads United against Everton
  • Sir Bobby Charlton nicknamed Old Trafford the Theatre of Dreams and it’s been home to United since 1910 
  • Stadium’s record attendance was recorded in 1939, when 76,962 spectators watched the FA Cup semi-final
  • It has undergone several expansions in recent decades including extra tiers to North, West and East Stands

By

Daniel Sandford For Mailonline


Published:
03:33 EST, 3 August 2016

|
Updated:
09:53 EST, 3 August 2016

Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams, home of Manchester United. One of football’s grandest stadiums has played host to many wonderful moments during its illustrious history while also undergoing numerous renovations throughout the years since it was officially opened way back in 1910.

Bombed during the Second World War, British club football’s largest ground recovered considerably, adopting various guises before morphing into the 75,635-seat home of the Premier League’s most-successful side. 

Looking to restore the club to their halcyon days, Jose Mourinho is the latest incumbent, seeking to write his own chapter and will make his debut at the ground on Wednesday as his side take on Everton.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look back through the years at this famous venue with a picture special. 

John Henry Davies became involved when the club were know as Newton Heath in 1902 and this was the site it began on costing £60,000. Old Trafford (pictured here in 1930) hosted its first game on 19 February 1910, against Liverpool

John Henry Davies became involved when the club were know as Newton Heath in 1902 and this was the site it began on costing £60,000. Old Trafford (pictured here in 1930) hosted its first game on 19 February 1910, against Liverpool

Wreckage at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, after it was bombed during the Second World War on 11 March 1944

Wreckage at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, after it was bombed during the Second World War on 11 March 1944

In the next landmark in ground development Manchester United installed floodlights for the European Cup semi-final clash with Real Madrid in April 1957 - pictured are seats and terraces that year

In the next landmark in ground development Manchester United installed floodlights for the European Cup semi-final clash with Real Madrid in April 1957 – pictured are seats and terraces that year

A groundsman is seen here whitewashing the terraces at Old Trafford prior to the start of the 1957-58 season in which they finished ninth in the first division and runners-up to Bolton in the FA Cup final

A groundsman is seen here whitewashing the terraces at Old Trafford prior to the start of the 1957-58 season in which they finished ninth in the first division and runners-up to Bolton in the FA Cup final

Manchester United fans cheer wildly after seeing Colin Webster score in the last minute of injury time to beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0

Manchester United fans cheer wildly after seeing Colin Webster score in the last minute of injury time to beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0

Midfielder Nobby Stiles manages to get his cross in despite being closed down by a Chelsea defender in the FA Cup fifth round on March 20, 1963

Midfielder Nobby Stiles manages to get his cross in despite being closed down by a Chelsea defender in the FA Cup fifth round on March 20, 1963

United players emerge from the tunnel for their opening game of the 1964-65 season against West Brom in front of 52,007 fans. The match finished 2-2 and they would go on to finish as champions for the sixth time in their history

United players emerge from the tunnel for their opening game of the 1964-65 season against West Brom in front of 52,007 fans. The match finished 2-2 and they would go on to finish as champions for the sixth time in their history

Midfield legend Bobby Charlton (right) is tackled by Bradford youngster Glenn Slowther as part of a film entitled 'Cup Fever' for the Children's Film Foundation in April 1965 while work to erect the East stand takes place

Midfield legend Bobby Charlton (right) is tackled by Bradford youngster Glenn Slowther as part of a film entitled ‘Cup Fever’ for the Children’s Film Foundation in April 1965 while work to erect the East stand takes place

In another stadium benchmark United installed the first private boxes (top row behind seating) in British football at an initial cost of £250-300 as they took their pre-World Cup spending beyond £400,000

In another stadium benchmark United installed the first private boxes (top row behind seating) in British football at an initial cost of £250-300 as they took their pre-World Cup spending beyond £400,000

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In March 1967, the club experimented for the first time with closed-circuit TV as the Reds relayed their clash with Arsenal 

In March 1967, the club experimented for the first time with closed-circuit TV as the Reds relayed their clash with Arsenal 

New Manchester United manager Frank O'Farrell smiles for the cameras in June 1971, but just 18 months later the softly-spoken Irishman was dismissed from the job

New Manchester United manager Frank O’Farrell smiles for the cameras in June 1971, but just 18 months later the softly-spoken Irishman was dismissed from the job

Denis Law jumps up for the ball with Derby County's Roy McFarland during a league game from the 1971-72 season. The previous year had seen hooligans throw knives onto the pitch, meaning the club begun the campaign playing their first two home games at Anfield and Victoria Ground

Denis Law jumps up for the ball with Derby County’s Roy McFarland during a league game from the 1971-72 season. The previous year had seen hooligans throw knives onto the pitch, meaning the club begun the campaign playing their first two home games at Anfield and Victoria Ground

Renovation works at Old Trafford failed to deter a host of supporters who had the pleasure to watch George Best take on Middlesbrough in a FA Cup fifth round clash in 1972. The two would draw 0-0 but United won the replay 3-0

Renovation works at Old Trafford failed to deter a host of supporters who had the pleasure to watch George Best take on Middlesbrough in a FA Cup fifth round clash in 1972. The two would draw 0-0 but United won the replay 3-0

A view from the stands of the pitch in 1973. United had created 5,000 new seats and more executive boxes, while retaining a standing area behind the goal

A view from the stands of the pitch in 1973. United had created 5,000 new seats and more executive boxes, while retaining a standing area behind the goal

A look inside the United trophy cabinet in September 1980. At that point in time, the club had won the First Division title seven times, the FA Cup four times, one European Cup and the Charity Shield (now Community Shield) eight times

A look inside the United trophy cabinet in September 1980. At that point in time, the club had won the First Division title seven times, the FA Cup four times, one European Cup and the Charity Shield (now Community Shield) eight times

An image of fans socialising inside a bar at Old Trafford in 1980. The walls are adorned with pictures of the players in action

An image of fans socialising inside a bar at Old Trafford in 1980. The walls are adorned with pictures of the players in action

Four young fans hold on to a fence at Old Trafford ahead of a league match in 1981. Following the rise of hooliganism in the 1970s, United erected the first perimeter fence in the country, before reducing the height of it in 1989

Four young fans hold on to a fence at Old Trafford ahead of a league match in 1981. Following the rise of hooliganism in the 1970s, United erected the first perimeter fence in the country, before reducing the height of it in 1989

Paul Ince (right) watches on as United defender Paul Parker is beaten to the ball by a Tottenham player in a match they would go on to win comfortably 4-1 thanks to goals from Eric Cantona, Dennis Irwin, Brian McClair and Parker himself

Paul Ince (right) watches on as United defender Paul Parker is beaten to the ball by a Tottenham player in a match they would go on to win comfortably 4-1 thanks to goals from Eric Cantona, Dennis Irwin, Brian McClair and Parker himself

A lone piper leads out Manchester United and Everton ready for a minutes silence to remember Sir Matt Busby ahead of their Premier League meeting in 1994

A lone piper leads out Manchester United and Everton ready for a minutes silence to remember Sir Matt Busby ahead of their Premier League meeting in 1994

A television crane looks over the west stand at Old Trafford as United take on Juventus in the Champions League semi-final first leg. A 90th minute equaliser from Ryan Giggs stopped the Italians from leaving with the win in April 1999

A television crane looks over the west stand at Old Trafford as United take on Juventus in the Champions League semi-final first leg. A 90th minute equaliser from Ryan Giggs stopped the Italians from leaving with the win in April 1999

UEFA officials in pre-match warm-up on the hallowed turf ahead of Manchester United's 0-0 draw with NK Croatia Zagreb in 1999. Architects returned to their drawing boards as they came up with second tiers for the East and West stands

UEFA officials in pre-match warm-up on the hallowed turf ahead of Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with NK Croatia Zagreb in 1999. Architects returned to their drawing boards as they came up with second tiers for the East and West stands

After considerable deterioration, the Old Trafford turf is dug up for the sixth time in just two years in January 2000 

After considerable deterioration, the Old Trafford turf is dug up for the sixth time in just two years in January 2000 

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Work continues on the West Stand as Manchester United played out a 1-1 draw in front of 61,592 fans in March 2000 as they finished 18 points clear of Arsenal to retain the title

Work continues on the West Stand as Manchester United played out a 1-1 draw in front of 61,592 fans in March 2000 as they finished 18 points clear of Arsenal to retain the title

The trademark sight of David Beckham whipping in a corner is one the United supporters would have seen a thousand times over, but the former Red Devil does so this time for England in a friendly with Hungary in May 2006

The trademark sight of David Beckham whipping in a corner is one the United supporters would have seen a thousand times over, but the former Red Devil does so this time for England in a friendly with Hungary in May 2006

Old Trafford's north-west and north-east quadrants were both furnished with second tiers, adding around another 8,000 seats seen here in before the clash with Sunderland in September 2007

Old Trafford’s north-west and north-east quadrants were both furnished with second tiers, adding around another 8,000 seats seen here in before the clash with Sunderland in September 2007

Ryan Giggs took over as the club's interim player-manager, for the final four games of the 2013-14 season. A look here inside the changing room prior to his first game against Norwich which ended with a 4-0 win in April 2014

Ryan Giggs took over as the club’s interim player-manager, for the final four games of the 2013-14 season. A look here inside the changing room prior to his first game against Norwich which ended with a 4-0 win in April 2014

After a century of nips, tucks and occasional rebuilds, Manchester United has proven it is the pinnacle of football stadiums in Europe and is seen here in a game with Aston Villa in April 2016

After a century of nips, tucks and occasional rebuilds, Manchester United has proven it is the pinnacle of football stadiums in Europe and is seen here in a game with Aston Villa in April 2016

Outside the stadium 

Manchester United manager Matt Busby unveils a memorial plaque to the victims of the Munich air crash outside Old Trafford, in which 23 people lost their lives following a European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade

Manchester United manager Matt Busby unveils a memorial plaque to the victims of the Munich air crash outside Old Trafford, in which 23 people lost their lives following a European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade

An aerial view of Old Trafford which had been given the sum of £40,000 towards the cost of preparation for hosting three games during the 1966 World Cup

An aerial view of Old Trafford which had been given the sum of £40,000 towards the cost of preparation for hosting three games during the 1966 World Cup

Builders are seen working on the construction of the new bridge which allowed fans to make their way from the station and across to the stadium

Builders are seen working on the construction of the new bridge which allowed fans to make their way from the station and across to the stadium

No stranger to attention Manchester United superstar George Best (centre) is seen here in April 1969 as he is mobbed by men, women and children all eager to get a picture or autograph from their hero.

No stranger to attention Manchester United superstar George Best (centre) is seen here in April 1969 as he is mobbed by men, women and children all eager to get a picture or autograph from their hero.

An exterior shot of Old Trafford in August 1979. A clock is mounted to the wall with the time and date to remember those who tragically died in the Munich Air disaster

An exterior shot of Old Trafford in August 1979. A clock is mounted to the wall with the time and date to remember those who tragically died in the Munich Air disaster

Compared to the megastore the club have today, the club shop was comparatively modest back in 1980, with fans able to purchase mugs, hats, bags, key rings and posters

Compared to the megastore the club have today, the club shop was comparatively modest back in 1980, with fans able to purchase mugs, hats, bags, key rings and posters

Another general view of Old Trafford in 1984. Under Ron Atkinson that season, the club won the FA Cup and reached the UEFA Cup quarter-final

Another general view of Old Trafford in 1984. Under Ron Atkinson that season, the club won the FA Cup and reached the UEFA Cup quarter-final

Manchester United fans flock into the ground for a league clash with Chelsea in 1984. The match finished 1-1

Manchester United fans flock into the ground for a league clash with Chelsea in 1984. The match finished 1-1

The Sir Matt Busby Suite, which fans used as a rendezvous point is seen here being used to full effect by United disciples who gather outside the exterior of Old Trafford in 1993

The Sir Matt Busby Suite, which fans used as a rendezvous point is seen here being used to full effect by United disciples who gather outside the exterior of Old Trafford in 1993

The clock and names of those who passed on a football pitch style commemorative plaque is a constant reminder to fans about the Busby Babes, prior to the clash with Spurs in 1993

The clock and names of those who passed on a football pitch style commemorative plaque is a constant reminder to fans about the Busby Babes, prior to the clash with Spurs in 1993

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Fans celebrate in 1993 after Oldham defeated second-place Aston Villa to help Manchester United capture their first league title since 1967 and win the inaugural Premier League season 

Fans celebrate in 1993 after Oldham defeated second-place Aston Villa to help Manchester United capture their first league title since 1967 and win the inaugural Premier League season 

The new Stretford End - which involved extending the cantilever roof around the whole stadium - cost a reported £12million, seen here in October 1994

The new Stretford End – which involved extending the cantilever roof around the whole stadium – cost a reported £12million, seen here in October 1994

The shrine of tributes to Sir Matt Busby - who passed away in January 1994, spreads under the Munich disaster clock at Old Trafford to remember the man who led United on two separate occasions

The shrine of tributes to Sir Matt Busby – who passed away in January 1994, spreads under the Munich disaster clock at Old Trafford to remember the man who led United on two separate occasions

Old Trafford towers over the local terraced streets following the Champions League victory against Bordeaux as work continues to take place on expanding the West stand in March 2000

Old Trafford towers over the local terraced streets following the Champions League victory against Bordeaux as work continues to take place on expanding the West stand in March 2000

Work in progress to build more seats between the North and West (Stretford) stands at Old Trafford prior to a clash with Aston Villa in August 2005

Work in progress to build more seats between the North and West (Stretford) stands at Old Trafford prior to a clash with Aston Villa in August 2005

The stadium prior to the attendance record for a modern United home fixture of 76,098 being set when the Reds overran Blackburn Rovers with four second-half goals in a vital 4-1 win in March 2007

The stadium prior to the attendance record for a modern United home fixture of 76,098 being set when the Reds overran Blackburn Rovers with four second-half goals in a vital 4-1 win in March 2007

Fans gather for a memorial service before their game with Manchester City in February 2008 to remember the Munich air crash, on the 50th anniversary in which eight United players died

Fans gather for a memorial service before their game with Manchester City in February 2008 to remember the Munich air crash, on the 50th anniversary in which eight United players died

A view of the Sir Matt Busby statue which was built in 1996, outside Old Trafford before the club faced Portsmouth in the FA Cup sixth round in March 2008

A view of the Sir Matt Busby statue which was built in 1996, outside Old Trafford before the club faced Portsmouth in the FA Cup sixth round in March 2008

Houses on Sir Matt Busby Way outside Old Trafford before the 2-0 home win over neighbours Manchester City in May 2009

Houses on Sir Matt Busby Way outside Old Trafford before the 2-0 home win over neighbours Manchester City in May 2009

The holy trinity statue of Best, Law and Charlton looks on at Sir Matt Busby who stands beneath the '19' logo to mark the achievement Manchester United set when they won the Premier League in 2011

The holy trinity statue of Best, Law and Charlton looks on at Sir Matt Busby who stands beneath the ’19’ logo to mark the achievement Manchester United set when they won the Premier League in 2011

The redevelopment of the Stretford End was first proposed in the summer of 1989 and a second tier of seating was added just before the 2000-01 season

The redevelopment of the Stretford End was first proposed in the summer of 1989 and a second tier of seating was added just before the 2000-01 season

An evening match is always a sight to behold at Old Trafford and the exterior of the East Stand overlooking Sir Matt Busby Way is fully lit before the final game of the season against Bournemouth in May 2016

An evening match is always a sight to behold at Old Trafford and the exterior of the East Stand overlooking Sir Matt Busby Way is fully lit before the final game of the season against Bournemouth in May 2016

Old Trafford as it looks today after 106 years of development which has made it England's largest club stadium

Old Trafford as it looks today after 106 years of development 

 

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