February 1, 1939:

Workers prepare air-defence barrage balloons at Gaythorn Gasworks in Manchester as war clouds loom over Europe.

Manchester was heavily targeted by Luftwaffe bombers during 1940. An estimated 684 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured on the nights of December 22 and 23 – the Christmas Blitz.

The Free Trade Hall, Manchester Cathedral and the Royal Exchange were among the buildings damaged.

January 31, 1981:

It’s all eyes on the ball as Manchester City take on Aston Villa in a First Division match at Villa Park. In action for the Blues are No. 9 Steve MacKenzie and winger Dave Bennet.

City lost the match 1-0 and went on to finish 12th in the league with 39 points. They fared better in the FA Cup, eventually reaching the final where they lost 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur.

Born in Manchester, Bennett made 54 league appearances for City from 1978 to 1981, scoring nine goals. He later played for Cardiff City, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday.

Division One Football

February 1, 1968:

Manchester United winger George Best gets down to some serious winter training – in what looks like his woolly jumper!

At the time, the Red Devils were gearing up for a First Division match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The training paid off as they won 2-1 with goals from Best and Bobby Charlton.

In a memorable season, Best was named European Footballer of the Year and the Red Devils beat Benfica 4-1 at Wembley to become the first English club to win the European Cup.

George Best