The 1951–52 season was Manchester United’s 50th season in the Football League, and their seventh consecutive season in the top division of English football. They finished the season as champions for the first time in 41 years, securing their title on the final day of the season with a 6-1 home win over an Arsenal side who were their last remaining contenders in the race for the title.
United were still captained by Johnny Carey, who along with the likes of high scoring forward Jack Rowley had been at the club since before the war and helped them win the FA Cup in 1948, but by this stage most of the players from United’s first postwar side were now in their thirties, and Busby was gradually replacing his older stars with younger players from the youth team. He made a club record move for Birmingham City winger Johnny Berry before the start of this title winning season, and also drafted in 22-year-old Roger Byrne from the reserve side to occupy the left wing, with Byrne scoring a host of crucial goals to help United clinch the title. Another young player who made his debut in the season, but did not play enough times to collect a championship medal, was the Belfast born teenager Jackie Blanchflower, who was equally capable as a half-back or inside-forward.


DateOpponentsH / AResult
26 September 1951HapoelH6–0Rowley (2), Pearson (2), Walton, Aston12,000
23 February 1952Manchester CityH4–2Pearson (2), Aston, Clempson25,002
29 March 1952HibernianH1–1Clempson20,098
9 May 1952New Jersey XIN4–0Byrne (2), Berry, Carey9,000
11 May 1952Philadelphia All-StarsN4–0Rowley (2), Clempson, Byrne5,000
13 May 1952Montreal All-StarsN10–0Rowley (3), Downie (3), Clempson (3), McShane6,400
18 May 1952American League XIN5–1Clempson (2), Berry, Rowley, Downie7,150
21 May 1952Fall River All-StarsN11–1Rowley (7), Downie (3), Martin (o.g.)3,102
25 May 1952StuttgartN5–2Byrne, Clempson, Downie/Rowley, Downie/Byrne, Rowley5,874
27 May 1952Chicago All-StarsN6–1Rowley (3), Downie (2), Aston3,564
1 June 1952AtlasN2–0Pearson, Byrne (pen.)
8 June 1952AtlasN4–3Pearson (3), Byrne12,000
12 June 1952Toronto Ulster UnitedN4–2Clempson, Aston, Downie, Pearson10,000
14 June 1952Tottenham HotspurN0–525,321
15 June 1952Tottenham HotspurN1–7Rowley24,582

First Division

DateOpponentsH / AResult
18 August 1951West Bromwich AlbionA3–3Rowley (3)27,486
22 August 1951MiddlesbroughH4–2Rowley (3), Pearson37,339
25 August 1951Newcastle UnitedH2–1Downie, Rowley51,850
29 August 1951MiddlesbroughA4–1Pearson (2), Rowley (2)44,212
1 September 1951Bolton WanderersA0–152,239
5 September 1951Charlton AthleticH3–2Rowley (2), Downie26,773
8 September 1951Stoke CityH4–0Rowley (3), Pearson48,660
12 September 1951Charlton AthleticA2–2Downie (2)28,806
15 September 1951Manchester CityA2–1Berry, McShane52,571
22 September 1951Tottenham HotspurA0–270,882
29 September 1951Preston North EndH1–2Aston53,454
6 October 1951Derby CountyH2–1Berry, Pearson39,767
13 October 1951Aston VillaA5–2Pearson (2), Rowley (2), Bond47,795
20 October 1951SunderlandH0–140,915
27 October 1951Wolverhampton WanderersA2–0Pearson, Rowley46,167
3 November 1951Huddersfield TownH1–1Pearson25,616
10 November 1951ChelseaA2–4Pearson, Rowley48,960
17 November 1951PortsmouthH1–3Downie35,914
24 November 1951LiverpoolA0–042,378
1 December 1951BlackpoolH3–1Downie (2), Rowley34,154
8 December 1951ArsenalA3–1Pearson, Rowley, own goal55,451
15 December 1951West Bromwich AlbionH5–1Downie, Pearson, Berry27,584
22 December 1951Newcastle UnitedA2–2Bond, Cockburn45,414
25 December 1951FulhamH3–2Berry, Bond, Rowley33,802
26 December 1951FulhamA3–3Bond, Pearson, Rowley32,671
29 December 1951Bolton WanderersH1–0Pearson53,205
5 January 1952Stoke CityA0–036,389
19 January 1952Manchester CityH1–1Carey54,245
26 January 1952Tottenham HotspurH2–0Pearson, own goal40,845
9 February 1952Preston North EndA2–1Aston, Berry38,792
16 February 1952Derby CountyA3–0Aston, Pearson, Rowley27,693
1 March 1952Aston VillaH1–1Berry38,910
8 March 1952SunderlandA2–1Cockburn, Rowley48,078
15 March 1952Wolverhampton WanderersH2–0Aston, Clempson45,109
22 March 1952Huddersfield TownA2–3Clempson, Pearson30,316
5 April 1952PortsmouthA0–125,522
11 April 1952BurnleyA1–1Byrne38,907
12 April 1952LiverpoolH4–0Byrne (2), Downie, Rowley42,970
14 April 1952BurnleyH6–1Byrne (2), Carey, Downie, Pearson, Rowley44,508
19 April 1952BlackpoolA2–2Byrne, Rowley29,118
21 April 1952ChelseaH3–0Carey, Pearson, own goal37,436
26 April 1952ArsenalH6–1Rowley (3), Pearson (2), Byrne53,651
1Manchester United4223118955257
2Tottenham Hotspur4222911765153

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

FA Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
12 January 1952Round 3Hull CityA0–243,517

Squad statistics

Pos.NameLeagueFA CupTotal
GKEngland Reg Allen33010340
GKEngland Jack Crompton900090
FBEngland Roger Byrne24710257
FBRepublic of Ireland Johnny Carey38310393
FBEngland Thomas McNulty24010250
FBEngland Billy Redman18000180
HBNorthern Ireland Jackie Blanchflower100010
HBEngland Allenby Chilton42010430
HBEngland Henry Cockburn38210392
HBEngland Don Gibson17000170
HBEngland Mark Jones300030
HBEngland Billy McGlen200020
HBEngland Jeff Whitefoot300030
FWEngland John Aston, Sr.18400184
FWEngland Johnny Berry36610376
FWEngland Brian Birch200020
FWEngland Ernie Bond19410204
FWEngland Laurie Cassidy100010
FWEngland Frank Clempson820082
FWScotland John Downie3111103211
FWScotland Harry McShane12100121
FWEngland Stan Pearson4122104222
FWEngland Jack Rowley4030104130
FWEngland John Walton200020