When Matt Busby picked up the managerial reins at Old Trafford in 1945, Manchester United had not won any silverware for some time - the last title being their promotion from the Second Division in the 1935/36 season. Under Busby the team had their highest placing for 16 years, as they finished second to Liverpool in 1946/47. United then won the FA Cup the following year.
Busby was still in charge 25 years later, in that time he built one of the greatest English club teams of all time - the 'Busby babes,' he rebuilt the side after the Munich air disaster around players like Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law and added the 1968 European Cup to his haul of trophies.
When Busby stepped down in 1969, he was a hard act to follow. Managers came and went, including Wilf McGuinness, Frank O'Farrell, Tommy Docherty, Dave Sexton, and Ron Atkinson. None were as successful as Busby, until the arrival of Alex Ferguson from Aberdeen in 1986.
In 1993 Manchester United's 26-year wait to win a league title was over and the victory heralded the start of years of glory for Sir Alex Ferguson's men. The Old Trafford manager had captured Eric Cantona from Leeds in 1992, a snip at £1.2million, and the Frenchman is widely thought to have been the catalyst for the years of success that followed.
The Red Devils have 19 league titles, 12 of them in the Premier League, and can also boast three Champions League trophies, 11 FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Cup Winner's Cup, one European Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.
With the evergreen talents of Ryan Giggs and the dazzling skills of Wayne Rooney on board, Manchester United's dominance looks set to continue - if they can hold off the threat of their city rivals Manchester City, that is...