Odd club names Man Utd nearly took as they celebrate Newton Heath anniversary

We know them as Manchester United – but on April 26, 1902, the club's brand could have been very different if some strange names had passed the owner's approval instead.

They were previously known as Newton Heath from 1878 in football's pre-formation years after a railway depot between Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Newton had a relatively short history after being served with a winding up petition for £2,670, which is equivalent to £290,000 at the rate of market inflation in 2021.

A chance meeting between the dog of Newton's captain Harry Stafford and United's first President John Henry Davies that saved the club, according to legend.

With Newton struggling for ticket sales, the club held a four-day bazaar and Stafford's dog named "Major" ran away with one of the collection tins.

Major trotted over to local brewer Davies, who then found three investors after meeting Newton's Stafford to raise the £2,000 needed for its survival.

Davies took control of the club and had some interesting ideas now they had no connection to Newton.

He thought about calling the club "Manchester Celtic" or "Manchester Central" before eventually settling on United.

The club colours were also changed from yellow and green to red and white.

In Manchester United's opening 1902-03 season, they won 15 games and finished fifth with 38 points.

Twenty league titles later, the rest is for the record books.

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