When you say “The Reds’, most die-hard soccer fans will know that you are talking about Liverpool the Never walk alone fellows.
But when you say the ‘Red Devils” they will know you are talking about Manchester United, the Old Trafford Landlords. But did you know that Manchester United were once called Babes? I mean Busby Babes.
The team has been known to use a few nicknames in their time – ‘The Heathens’, ‘United’, ‘The Busby Babes’, the ‘Reds But the nickname that stuck for United is ‘The Red Devils’. And, surprisingly, many individuals do not know how the Premier League side got to the Red Devils stage.
United were firstly nicknamed ‘The Heathens’ in their formative years, when the club was established in 1878 and named ‘Newton Heath Football Club’.
However, when the club rebranded itself as Manchester United Football Club in 1902 and is more often than not simply referred to as ‘United’.
But when the famous Sir Matt Busby took charge of the club in 1945 a sudden injection of youth emerged. His trust in the youngsters led to the media dubbing United as ‘The Busby Babes’.
Busby himself is said to be responsible for the Red Devils nickname which began to emerge strongly in the 1960s, reportedly borrowing it from a rugby club in Salford which back then, was extremely successful.
It was a nickname which would not turn away from the ‘Busby Babes’ era but establish a different Manchester United period in its own right.
Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947, 1948 and 1949, and to FA Cup victory in 1948. In 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. They then won back-to-back league titles in 1956 and 1957; the squad, who had an average age of 22.
When the team toured around France, French journalists were quick to name the team ‘Les Diables Rouges’ which in fact translated to ‘The Red Devils’. Now you know and now you remember!