1931 - United relegated from top flight
1934 - United Road terrace is covered
1939 - March; Old Trafford's attendance record is set as 76,962 see Wolves beat Grimsby in the FA Cup semi-final
1940 - 22 December; the Luftwaffe inflicts superficial damage to the stadium
1941 - 11 March; German bombs hit OT again, this time destroying large parts
1945 - Matt Busby is appointed; United are playing home games at Maine Rd.
1949 - 24 August; United play at OT for the first time since the '41 bombing and beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0
1957 - Floodlights are installed in time for the European Cup semi vs Real Madrid
1959 - Stretford End is covered
1960 - Capacity increased to 66,500
United were at a perilously low ebb as the 1930s dawned.
While the worldwide economic depression kicked in, the Reds were on the verge of bankruptcy and the team, not up to much, was getting worse. Old Trafford could no longer claim to be the top club ground in the country, having been made to look increasingly ordinary by plush developments at the homes of enterprising rivals.
But just as oblivion beckoned, United were saved by the intervention of local benefactor James Gibson. He couldn’t prevent relegation from the top flight at the end of a dire 1930/31 campaign, but his cash and his confidence heralded a new era epitomised by the much-needed covering in 1934 of the popular United Road terrace, now the site of the majestic North Stand.
The club consolidated all through that decade. United returned to the First Division and, by accommodating 76,962 spectators for Wolves’ FA Cup semi-final victory over Grimsby Town in March 1939, confirmed Old Trafford's renaissance. That also set a record attendance for the ground that still stands.