This film is part of Free

Burnley v Manchester United (1902)

First-ever footage of Manchester United in a tense Edwardian football fixture.

Non-Fiction 1902 2 mins Silent


This is a truly historic film artefact, badly damaged though it is: the very earliest footage of Manchester United, shot months after they changed their name from Newton Heath. The frenetic action shows United (in dark tops) apparently on the back foot against near-neighbours Burnley, although the home team ultimately lost 2-0. The result helps explain why the film was never advertised in Burnley.

United were a Second-Division team in 1902-03, finishing the season in fifth place. They would have to wait until the 1906-07 season to play in the First Division for the first time under their new name. Burnley, one of the founders of the Football League, was to finish the season at the bottom of the Second Division.