Why are Manchester United called the Red Devils?

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The Manchester side have long been associated with the strange moniker of “the Red Devils”, but how did it come about?

Manchester United are most commonly known as “the Red Devils”, though they have taken on a slew of other nicknames throughout the history of the club.

It is “the Red Devils” moniker that has stuck, however, though its origin is interesting as the Manchester side weren’t always associated with the nickname.

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Why are Man Utd known as “the Red Devils?”

Manchester United were actually known as “The Heathens” in the early days of the club, dating to when they were established in 1878. Back then, they were first known as “Newton Heath Football Club”.

They only renamed themselves as Manchester United in 1902 as part of their club rebrand, when their most common name was simply just “United”.

In 1945, when the legendary Sir Matt Busby took over the club, he introduced a wealth of youth players into the side which led to them being called “The Busby Babes” by the press.

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After the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, however, which 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 – the nickname “The Busby Babes” was deemed inappropriate and subsequently retired.

Busby, then, sought out a new nickname for the side, and drew inspiration from the English rugby side Salford that had toured France in the 1930s.

Their kit consisted of a red shirt, with the French press branding them as “Les Diables Rouges” – which translates to “the Red Devils”.



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