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 war damage caused by Luftwaffe bombs at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. The date is September 1945.

The ground was requisitioned as a depot at the start of the war in 1939, but football continued to be played until a raid on Trafford Park forced the stadium to close on December 22nd 1940.

The Christmas Day fixture against Stockport County had to be switched to Edgeley Park.

Play resumed at Old Trafford on March 8th 1941 until another bombing raid three days later destroyed much of the stadium, devastating the South Stand – now the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.

The War Damage Commission gave grants to remove the debris and rebuild the stands while United played their home matches at Manchester City’s ground Maine Road.

Old Trafford finally reopened in 1949, although the stands were still without covers. The first game back at the ground on August 24th was a 3-0 victory over local rivals Bolton Wanderers in front of 41,748 spectators.

The United scorers on the day were Charlie Mitten and Jack Rowley along with a Bolton own goal. Manager Matt Busby would see his side go on to finish fourth in the First Division and reach the sixth round of the FA Cup, losing 2-0 away to Chelsea.

Our modern image from May 2021 shows the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand behind extra security barriers installed during the Covid pandemic as a result of protests against the recent Super League proposal.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester on sale now at £14.99. Order your copy at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.