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Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils?

Manchester United shut down first-team facilities at Carrington following recent Covid outbreak.
Manchester United shut down first-team facilities at Carrington following recent Covid outbreak.

The question of Manchester United’s nickname worries many football fans, but few know the answer. In this article, will detail where the Red Devils derive their name from and what other nicknames the legendary club from Manchester have.

Manchester United was founded in 1878. It was originally called Newton Heath, carried the nickname ‘Pagans’ and played in green and gold coloured uniforms. But in 1902 the club was renamed Manchester United.

Gradually it began to be called either United or the Reds because along with the name, the colours of the club changed. The players now played in white and red uniforms.

In the 1950s the team had a new nickname. The players were very young, but also very technical and skilful beyond their years.

The coach of that legendary squad was Sir Matt Busby, with whom the team showed impressive results. Hence United during this period began to be known as the Busby Babes.

However, in 1958, the Munich tragedy occurred (the plane with Manchester United on board crashed at Munich Airport, part of the team was killed). After that, the Busby Babes came to be known as that particular squad.

In the early 1960s, Sir Matt Busby decided to borrow the nickname from the Salford City rugby team called the Red Devils.

The coach liked this phrase, which sounded much more menacing and powerful than the Busby Babes. He soon made a public announcement that his club would now officially bear the nickname Red Devils.

In 1973, the devil with a trident appeared on the Manchester United logo, as well as on uniforms and other merchandise. Today, the character is the club’s mascot. His name is Red Fred.

Mancunians – The Story

But Manchester United have another nickname. Fans and the media often refer to them as the Mancunians.

The origin of this nickname goes back to the 10th century. This period, according to historians, is the first reference to a city such as Manchester.

Its Latin name was Mancunium. Today, of course, the city’s inhabitants are most commonly referred to as Mancs in the modern sense, but along with this name, they also use the ancient Mancunians, which is far more euphonious.

But why is Mancunians called United around the world, when the city has another football club that is known all over the globe, Manchester City? The fact is that City emerged two years later than its neighbour.

The difference is quite small, but United entered the international arena earlier, retaining its place as football’s world leader for a very long time. It is for this reason that the nickname ‘Mancunians’ is firmly established with the Red Devils.

Written by Saiyed Karim

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