Manchester United 1939-40

The 1939–40 season would have been Manchester United’s 44th season in the Football League, and their second season back in the top flight after playing in the Second Division in 1937–38. However, due to the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, the league season was abandoned after just three games and the results expunged from the records. For this reason, appearances made and goals scored in the Football League matches that were played do not contribute to a player’s overall appearances and goals record.
Many of Manchester United’s players went off to fight in the war, but for those who remained, the Football League organised a special War League. The War League was originally split into ten regional divisions (Manchester United were placed in the Western Division), in accordance with the Government’s 50-mile travel limit. A War League Cup was also set up to replace the FA Cup, which had also been interrupted at the Preliminary Round phase. United finished the league season with a record of 14 wins and 8 losses, and also reached the second round of the cup before losing to eventual runners-up, Blackburn Rovers.

 

First Division

DateOpponentsH / AResult
F – A
ScorersAttendance
26 August 1939Grimsby TownH4 – 0Bryant, Carey, Pearson, Wrigglesworth22,537
30 August 1939ChelseaA1 – 1Bryant15,157
2 September 1939Charlton AthleticA0 – 28,608
PosClubPldWDLGFGAGAvePts
9Stoke City3111741.753
10Manchester United3111531.673
11Chelsea3111441.003

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GAve = Goal average; Pts = Points

War League Western Division

DateOpponentsH / AResult
F – A
ScorersAttendance
21 October 1939Manchester CityH0 – 4
28 October 1939Chester CityA4 – 0Pearson (2), Smith (2)
11 November 1939Crewe AlexandraH5 – 1Carey, Hanlon, Pearson, Smith, Vose
18 November 1939LiverpoolA0 – 1
25 November 1939Port ValeH8 – 1Wrigglesworth (5), Asquith, Pearson, Smith
2 December 1939Tranmere RoversA4 – 2Smith (2), Hanlon, Warner
9 December 1939Stockport CountyA7 – 4Pearson (2), Smith (2), Hanlon, McKay, own goal
23 December 1939WrexhamH5 – 1Pearson (2), Roughton, Hanlon, Butt
6 January 1940EvertonA2 – 3McKay, Smith
20 January 1940Stoke CityH4 – 3Jones (2), Butt, Pearson
10 February 1940Manchester CityA0 – 1
24 February 1940Chester CityH5 – 1Carey, Manley, Pearson, own goal (2)
9 March 1940Crewe AlexandraA4 – 1Smith (2), Butt, Pearson
16 March 1940LiverpoolH1 – 0Pearson
23 March 1940Port ValeA3 – 1McKay (2), Pearson
30 March 1940Tranmere RoversH6 – 1Smith (3), McKay, Roberts, Roughton
6 April 1940Stockport CountyH6 – 1Butt (2), Pearson (2), Roughton, Wrigglesworth
6 May 1940New BrightonH6 – 0Smith (2), Asquith, Butt, Whalley, Wrigglesworth
13 May 1940WrexhamA2 – 3Butt (2)
18 May 1940New BrightonA0 – 6
25 May 1940Stoke CityA2 – 3Burdett (2)
1 June 1940EvertonH0 – 3
PosClubPldWDLGFGAGAvgPts
3Everton22124664331.9428
4Manchester United22140874411.8028
5Manchester City221241673411.7828

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GAvg = Goal average; Pts = Points

War League Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
F – A
ScorersAttendance
20 April 1940First Round
First leg
Manchester CityH0 – 1
27 April 1940First Round
Second leg
Manchester CityA2 – 0Pearson, Wrigglesworth
4 May 1940Second Round
First leg
Blackburn RoversA2 – 1Carey, Smith
11 May 1940Second Round
Second leg
Blackburn RoversH1 – 3Carey