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

Our eye-catching main image this week captures the moment a shot whistles past the post in the 1949 FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Hillsborough.

The photographer, Bert Abell of the Daily Herald, dived for cover as the ball headed towards him involuntarily releasing the camera shutter at the same time. The result was this superb action picture.

United’s inside left Stan Pearson is lying on the ground having shot just wide of the mark. Standing to the right of the goalkeeper is Wolves and England centre half Billy Wright.

The semi-final, played on March 26th, ended in a 1-1 draw with United’s goal coming from Charlie Mitten. Wolves won the replay at Goodison Park 1-0 and went on to lift the FA Cup by beating Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley.

utd vs wolves
English League Division One match
United, under manager Matt Busby, were aiming to win the FA Cup two years in a row. In 1948, they defeated Blackpool 4-2 in the final with two goals from Jack Rowley and one apiece from Stan Pearson and John Anderson.

As well as losing the 1949 cup final, the Red Devils just missed out on the First Division title by finishing second to Portsmouth.

Our later image, from October 1983, shows the Red Devils in action against Wolves in a First Division match at Old Trafford.

United, managed by Ron Atkinson, won 3-0 with two goals from striker Frank Stapleton and one from midfielder Bryan Robson.