Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils?

Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils?

Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club in England. The club features in the Premier League. The club is nicknamed the Red Devils although it was founded as “Newton Heath LYR Football Club” in 1878

Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils?

Manchester United football club are commonly associated with the strange moniker of “the Red Devils”, but the question on everyone’s lips is ‘how did this name come about?’

Manchester United were initially called “The Heathens” when the football club was established, dating back to 1878. Before its establishment, it was first known as the “Newton Heath Football Club”.

In 1902, the club was renamed Manchester United as part of their club rebrand, when their most common name was simply just “United”.

When Matt Busby took over in 1945, he changed the culture and tradition of the club introducing young players with energy to the club’s first team which led to them being called “The Busby Babes” by the press.

After the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster In 1958, tragedy struck the club as the Munich Air Disaster claimed 23 lives, and those of eight players – Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor, and Billy Whelan. From here the nickname “The Busby Babes” was retired.

The manager of the side, Matt Busby, was now in search of a befitting name for the club. After a long search, he came up with a new nickname for the side, drawing inspiration from the English rugby side Salford that had toured France in the 1930s.

Their kit -a red shirt- made French press to brand them as “Les Diables Rouges” – which translates to “the Red Devils”.

Busby preferred the name because it is more intimidating than the more angelic “Babes”. From then the club began to officially adopt the devil logo into their match day programs.

In 1970, the club’s badge was redesigned, with a signature devil featuring a pitchfork that has now become one of the club’s symbols.


Full name Manchester United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Red Devils
Short name Man United
Man Utd
Founded 1878; 144 years ago, as Newton Heath LYR F.C.
1902; 120 years ago, as Manchester United F.C.
Ground Old Trafford
Capacity 74,140
Owner Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU)
Co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer
Manager Erik ten Hag
League Premier League
2021–22 Premier League, 6th of 20



  • First Division/Premier League
    • Winners (20; record): 1907–08, 1910–11, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
  • Second Division
    • Winners (2): 1935–36, 1974–75


  • FA Cup
    • Winners (12): 1908–09, 1947–48, 1962–63, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2015–16
  • Football League Cup/EFL Cup
    • Winners (5): 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2016–17
  • FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shield
    • Winners (21; record): 1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965*, 1967*, 1977*, 1983, 1990*, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 (* shared)

European Trophies

  • European Cup/UEFA Champions League
    • Winners (3): 1967–68, 1998–99, 2007–08
  • European Cup Winners’ Cup
    • Winners (1): 1990–91
  • UEFA Europa League
    • Winners (1): 2016–17
  • European Super Cup
    • Winners (1): 1991


  • Intercontinental Cup
    • Winners (1; British record): 1999
  • FIFA Club World Cup
    • Winners (1; British joint record): 2008

Doubles and Trebles

  • Doubles
    • League and FA Cup (3): 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99
    • League and UEFA Champions League (2): 1998–99, 2007–08
    • League and EFL Cup (1): 2008–09
    • EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League (1): 2016–17
  • Trebles
    • League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League (1): 1998–99


Office Name
Honorary president Martin Edwards
Directors David Gill
Michael Edelson
Sir Bobby Charlton
Sir Alex Ferguson
Club secretary Rebecca Britain
Football director John Murtough
Deputy football director Andy O’Boyle
Technical director Darren Fletcher
Director of football operations Alan Dawson

Manchester United Limited

Position Name
Co-chairmen Avram Glazer
Joel Glazer
Chief executive Richard Arnold
Chief financial officer Cliff Baty
Chief operating officer Collette Roche
Non-executive directors Bryan Glazer
Kevin Glazer
Edward Glazer
Darcie Glazer Kassewitz
Robert Leitão
John Hooks
Manu Sawhney

Coaching staff

Position Staff
Manager Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Erik ten Hag
Assistant coaches Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Mitchell van der Gaag
Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Steve McClaren
First-team coaches Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Eric Ramsay
Senior goalkeeping coach Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Richard Hartis
Assistant goalkeeping coach Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Craig Mawson
Head of football medicine & science (first-team doctor) England Steve McNally
Head of athletic performance England Richard Hawkins
Head of rehabilitation and physiotherapy England Robin Sadler
Fitness coaches Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils? Paulo Gaudino
England Charlie Owen
First-team strength and power coach England Michael Clegg
First-team lead sports scientist England Edward Leng
Head of academy England Nick Cox
Head of player development & coaching (U17–U23) Antigua and Barbuda Justin Cochrane
Under-23s lead coach  Vacant
Under-18s lead coach England Travis Binnion

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