There is no way to talk about English football without mentioning Manchester United. This is the most decorated and successful professional football club based in Greater Manchester to the North West of England. The club was formed way back in 1878 under the name Newton Heath LYR Football Club and acquired its current name in 1902. The nickname Red Devils moved the club to their current Old Trafford home in 1910.

The club's first true taste of honor was when they won the Division One title in 1908 and then won the FA Cup the following year before regaining the Division One title in 1911. But the successful history for which the club is best known did not start. until 1945, when Matt Busby was appointed manager. The success was not immediate, but in 1957 the club had championship triumphs three times. 'Busby Babes', as they were called because of the youth of the site, quickly developed into a force to be reckoned with in English professional football. It was also in 1957 that the Red Devils became the very first English club to compete in the European Cup, the forerunner of the now lucrative UEFA Champions League.

In 1958, however, a disaster struck when eight players died in a plane crash as the team flew home from a European club game. Coming from a quarter-final triumph over Red Star Belgrade, the plane crashed with the team and journalists at takeoff after refueling in Munich, Germany. Busby, who survived the crash, had to rebuild the team he did, and in 1963 they won the FA Cup against many odds. They followed it with league triumphs in 1965 and 1967. Honor on the European front came in 1968 when the Red Devils won the European Cup. The victory came over none other than the then Portuguese giants Benfica.

When Matt Busby retired in 1969, the club went through a very difficult period. A stream of consecutive leaders could not save the Mancunians from being relegated in 1974, even though they went back to the top flight the following season. 1977 saw them beat Liverpool to win the FA Cup under Tommy Docherty, but Sir Matt Busby's success could not be seen anywhere. Success in the league continued to elude them, even though they won the FA Cup twice in the mid-80s under Ron Atkinson.

The current United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was appointed in 1986 and his successes are only comparable to Sir Busby. Despite a slow start, he won the FA Cup in 1990 and followed it up with European triumphs in the Cup Winners Cup and European Super Cup. His real success, however, was from 1993, when United won the now renamed English Premier League, and from 2010 they had won the league record 11 times and the UEFA Champions League twice in 1999 and 2008.

Among the notable players who have played for United are George Best, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, who is the most decorated player in English football.

Author's Bio: 

English Premier League, and from 2010 they had won the league record 11 times and the UEFA Champions League twice in 1999 and 2008.