Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

Our main image this week shows some of the 250,000-strong crowd that welcomed Manchester United back to their home city after becoming the first English club to win the European Cup.

The date is Sunday June 9th 1968, just over a week after the Red Devils beat Benfica 4-1 on a balmy Wednesday night at Wembley to lift the coveted trophy.

The Albert Memorial in front of the Town Hall is cordoned off as thousands of fans crane their necks for a view of their heroes and manager Matt Busby parading the cup on an open-top bus.

Film crews are recording the historic event while spectators are using Town Hall balconies and windows to take in the scene.

Manchester United
Manchester Christmas Lights Switch on
United reached the final after beating European giants Real Madrid 4-3 on aggregate in a pulsating semi-final. After a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, the teams fought out a 3-3 draw at the Bernabeu stadium.

The final against Portuguese side Benfica was locked at 1-1 at full time with Bobby Charlton’s 53rd minute goal cancelled out by Graca’s 79th minute equaliser.

In the third minute of extra time, George Best dribbled past the defence and goalkeeper to score. Brian Kidd made it 3-1 with a header and then Charlton wrapped up the match with his second goal in the 99th minute.

Our modern image from November 2015 shows another joyous occasion in Albert Square. This time it’s the switching on of the Christmas lights by Coronation Street stars Catherine Tyldesley and Kym Marsh.