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Click on the main image to browse a gallery of six classic photographs.
20/01/2013 18:13, Report by Mark Froggatt

Gallery: Cold Trafford

Thanks to undersoil heating, it's now rare for a Manchester United match to be called off due to snow - Sunday's match at Tottenham came close – but this wasn’t always the case.

Back in the 1950s, it was all hands on deck to ensure matches went ahead and as our rarely-seen photos show, the responsibility to clear the hallowed turf at Old Trafford fell to Sir Matt Busby and his fabled Babes, who would regularly pick up a shovel and get to work.

The photographs, which you can view in a gallery above, were sent to us by Marie Coffey, who inherited them from her father James after he was given the collection by a freelance photographer and it’s likely that they have not been seen by the public for a very long time.

Incredibly, United stars Dennis Viollet, Alex Dawson and Duncan Edwards can all be seen wielding wheelbarrows and in the latter’s case, taking time off to make snowballs in scenes that symbolise the working-class origins of the sport.

And with a cold snap currently gripping the nation, what better time to share these historic images and catch a glimpse of life as a professional footballer in a bygone era.

More: Ryan relieved after Cup test | Sir Alex praises defensive duo | Gallery: Reds march on

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