December 23, 1940:
Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in Peter Street lies in ruins after suffering a direct hit in an overnight bombing raid during World War II.
Manchester Cathedral and the Royal Exchange were also badly damaged in two nights of raids that took the lives of 684 people and injured 2,000 more.
More than 8,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in neighbouring Salford and Stretford, including. Old Trafford football ground was also hit.
The Free Trade Hall rose from the ashes in 1951 after being completely rebuilt as a concert venue behind two walls of the original façade.
December 26, 1985:
Everton forward Graeme Sharp pounces on the ball to score the first of his two goals in the Division One match against Manchester United at Goodison Park.
The Merseysiders won the Boxing Day encounter 3-1 with the other goal coming from future Match-of-the-Day presenter Gary Lineker. Frank Stapleton replied for United.
The Red Devils under Ron Atkinson finished fourth in the league. Mark Hughes was United’s top scorer with 18 goals in all competitions.
Everton finished the season in second place with 86 points, just two points behind local rivals Liverpool.
December 22, 1969:
Manchester’s Strangeways Prison broke with tradition for the Christmas of 1969.
Instead of the usual Christmas tree, inmates helped build a crib and nativity scene in the centre of the prison wings.
It was the much admired focal point of a carol service attended by prisoners and staff on Christmas Eve.