07/10/2013 10:02, Report by Ian McLeish

#25 – United's first caps

The Reds have a great history of producing international players. So, after much debate we settled on United's 25 greatest international moments, starting 126 years ago...

Players: Tom Burke and John Powell
Match: Wales 0 England 4, 26 February 1887

The names Burke and Powell may not be top of the list when it comes to famous figures in the United archives, but Tom and John happen to be pivotal characters in the club's history. The players from Newton Heath – John a full-back, Tom a half-back – were the first of our flock to be selected for international duty, turning out for Wales in a home international against England in 1887.

It wasn’t a match to remember for the Welshmen, the visitors running out easy 4-0 victors, but it was the opening chapter in a proud story.

Curiously, all nine of Newton Heath’s internationals were from Wales, with the club renamed Manchester United by the time captain Charlie Roberts was selected for England. Charlie’s team-mate Alex Bell was the first Scotsman to be capped as a United player, and all these names, plus hundreds more, are commemorated on Old Trafford’s International Honours Board. Located in the players’ lounge, it documents every player to be selected for international duty while at the club… a growing list indeed.

To inspect the International Honours Board in person, book yourself onto the club’s stadium tour. Visit the Museum and Tour section for more details.


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