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Flashback: United v Birmingham 2002


When Manchester United travel to St Andrews on Tuesday night it will be on the eight anniversary of the first meeting between the two clubs since Birmingham City’s first ever season in the Premier League. It took place at Old Trafford on December 28, 2002 with manager Steve Bruce facing Sir Alex Ferguson in the dugouts for the first time since his departure as a United legend. He was to get no joy however as United took the points with a hard fought victory.

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Countless Gareth Macklins for every Ryan Giggs


Manchester United fans have celebrated icons like Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for two decades but spare a thought for the countless number of starry eyed kids who fall by the wayside for a variety of reasons – some through no other fault than their own. Belfast boy Gareth Macklin was one of them as Bob Cass from the MailOnline discovered. A treasured photo illustrates the ultimate schoolboy dream. A beaming 14 year old signs the paper which will open the door to a glittering football career with the world’s most famous club. There to witness the moment are two proud parents and Sir Alex Ferguson. That was 16 years ago.

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2004-05: Fergie loses first Premier clash with Jose


When Sir Alex Ferguson took Manchester United to Stamford Bridge in August 2004 for the first Premier League match of a new campaign, Chelsea had not won a Championship for 50 years – the one and only in their long history. Then the ‘Special One’ came along. By the end of his first season, Jose Mourinho proved to be the long awaited messiah for the west London club. United were in the middle of another Ferguson rebuilding phase having finished third to Arsenal in the previous campaign, destined to concede the title to Chelsea in 04-05 then having to settle for runners up in the following season before reclaiming the title in 2006-07 for the first of another title hat trick.

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