Part Two: John Henry Davies

United Through Time looks at John Henry Davies – the man who saved Manchester United from extinction in 1902.


Davies was a wealthy brewer who discovered the trials and tribulations of a local side called Newton Heath in 1901 after finding a St Bernard dog and then knocking an accountant off his bike.


The portly, bespectacled Davies oversaw the rapid rise of Manchester United. Within his first six months at the club, Newton Heath changed their name to Man United and colours to red and white. Davies also invested £4,000 in the Reds’ Bank Street ground.


Within a decade, United had won three major trophies, had gone on a tour of Europe and moved to Old Trafford, the largest and grandest stadium in the country.


This is the story of a portly and bespectacled man who had a gentle smile overshadowed by a walrus-moustache. This is the man who saved Manchester United, who financed the club’s first ever league and cup glories and whose legacy lives on every time Manchester United play because he funded and inspired the move to Old Trafford.


This is the story of John Henry Davies in episode three of United Through Time. This episode is released as a two-parter because of the sheer size of Davies’ contribution to the club.


United Through Time is the new podcast delving into Manchester United’s long and famous history. Going in chronological order, United Through Time will focus on the most important individuals at the club since Manchester United was founded as Newton Heath in 1878.


Hosted by Harry Robinson, four guests are heard on this episode as United Through Time covers the themes of breweries, British paternalism, World War One, corruption, trade unionism, the Manchester Ship Canal and much more, as well as the more general football stuff.


Guest One: Iain McCartney is the author of ‘Old Trafford: 100 years of the Theatre of Dreams’, looking at the history of Manchester United’s great stadium.


Guest Two: Jo Jones is the great-granddaughter of John Henry Davies. She has looked into his story with her late mother, has been a guest of the Manchester United board in recognition of Davies’ significance and saw her mother unveil a plaque at Old Trafford in honour to Davies.


Guest Three: Ean Gardiner is the author of ‘Harry Stafford – Manchester United’s First Captain Marvel’. This book is the story of Harry Stafford’s life. The book is a must-read. You can buy it on Amazon, eBay and from Empire Publications.


Guest Four: Gary James is one of the definitive authorities on Manchester’s football history. He’s an honorary research fellow at De Montfort University and has written a number of books and will have a new one coming out next year on the city’s football history up until 1919. It will be a must-read.


If you enjoy the episode, please take the time to leave us a review on iTunes. You can even do it while you’re listening! You can also follow us on Twitter at @UtdThroughTime or check out our website at unitedthroughtime.com