Manchester United W.F.C.

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Manchester United Women
The words "Manchester" and "United" surround a pennant featuring a ship in full sail and a devil holding a trident.
Full nameManchester United Women Football Club
Nickname(s)The Red Devils
Founded28 May 2018; 5 years ago (2018-05-28)
GroundLeigh Sports Village
OwnerManchester United plc
Co-chairmenJoel and Avram Glazer
Head coachMarc Skinner
LeagueWomen's Super League
2022–23WSL, 2nd of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Manchester United Women Football Club is a professional football club based in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Women's Super League (WSL), the top tier of English women's football, after gaining promotion from the Championship at the end of the 2018–19 season.


1970s–2001: Unofficial teams[edit]

Ratified in 1921, the ban by The Football Association prohibiting women's football from being played at any of its clubs was formally lifted in 1971.[1]

An unofficial team called United Ladies of Manchester was formed circa 1970[specify] by a group of Stretford Enders. They trained at the club's training ground, The Cliff, and arranged matches against other clubs' unofficial women's teams. Matt Busby, manager of the men's team at the time, was reportedly supportive.[citation needed]

Manchester United Supporters Club Ladies began operations in the late 1970s and was unofficially recognised as the club's senior women's team. In their earliest form they were a charity team that played fundraising matches and played its first game in October 1977. In 1979, the team joined the Three Counties League under the auspices of the Women's Football Association and started playing competitively. With the league covering a large area, United's committee campaigned for a local league and in 1982 the Women's FA approved the creation of the Manchester & District League, of which Manchester United Supporters Club Ladies was a founding member and won the first three seasons.[2] In 1989, the combined Manchester & Merseyside League, North West Women's League, and the Three Counties League merged to form the North West Women's Regional Football League. The league was spread across four divisions and included 42 teams. At the same time, the team approached Manchester United F.C. for support and more formal backing. The club agreed and the team was allowed to use the name Manchester United Ladies FC, matches were advertised in the club's programme and the team was allowed to train at The Cliff.[3][4] The team became increasingly competitive throughout the 1990s at various levels of the FA Women's National League up until 2001.[5]

2001–2005: Partnership and disbandment[edit]

It's very disappointing. The progress of women's football can be really helped by professional clubs taking women's teams under their umbrella and it's a blow to the game that a great club like Manchester United will no longer be doing this.

—Ray Kiddell, FA vice-chairman, 2005[6]

In 2001, the team formed an official partnership with Manchester United. However, the club began to stagnate with a string of successive mid-table finishes in the third division.[4] The team were disbanded four years later, in 2005, shortly after Malcolm Glazer's completed takeover with the new regime deeming the women's team to not be part of the "core business" and unprofitable.[7] A media spokesman for Manchester United also claimed the club wanted to focus on its women's academy instead of its senior team.[6]

2018–present: Current team[edit]

Manchester United celebrate winning the Championship title in their inaugural season.

In March 2018, Manchester United announced their intentions to reintroduce a women's football team.[8] Manchester United Women Football Club were founded on 28 May 2018, following the club's successful application to join the newly-formed 2018–19 FA Women's Championship.[9][10] It marked the club's return to women's football after a thirteen-year absence; though the club's academy continued via the Manchester United Foundation, with the likes of Izzy Christiansen and Katie Zelem being produced by United's Centre of Excellence academy.[6][11] Casey Stoney was appointed as the club's first head coach on 8 June,[12] with their inaugural 21-player squad announced just over a month later.

The team's first game back was on 19 August 2018, where they won 1–0 in an away game against Liverpool in the FA Women's League Cup, with Lizzie Arnot scoring their first competitive goal in thirteen years.[13] Three weeks later, their opening Championship encounter ended in a 12–0 victory away to Aston Villa.[14] On 17 April 2019, United secured promotion to the FA Women's Super League following a 5–0 win against the same opposition.[15] They clinched the FA Women's Championship title three days later following a 7–0 win at home to Crystal Palace.[16] In May 2019, Manchester United were named FA Women's Championship Club of the Year at the 2019 FA Women’s Football Awards.[17]

The 2019–20 season was the team's maiden FA WSL campaign. The season opener was a Manchester derby, held at the City of Manchester stadium. Manchester City won the match 1–0 in front of a then league record attendance of 31,213.[18][19] United's first top-flight campaign was ended prematurely after the season was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the team awarded fourth place on a points per game basis.[20] The last game was a 3–2 victory over Everton on 23 February 2020, with Leah Galton scoring twice and Ella Toone scoring once for Manchester United in the first game played at Everton's new Walton Hall Park stadium.[21] In the FA Cup, Manchester United lost 3–2 to Manchester City in the fourth round, the first time they had lost in the first knockout round of a competition.[22] However, they repeated their best League Cup finish by reaching the semi-finals for the second consecutive year, losing 1–0 to eventual cup winners Chelsea.[23]

Manchester United Women played their first game at Old Trafford, against West Ham United, during the men's March 2021 international break.[24] Manchester United won the game 2–0.[25]

On 12 May 2021, Manchester United announced that Casey Stoney would stand down from her role as Head Coach at the end of the season.[26] On 29 July 2021, Marc Skinner was announced as the new head coach on a two-year contract, with the option for a further year.[27] Skinner confirmed the 12 month extension option was triggered, keeping him at the club until 2024.[28]


The Leigh Sports Village has been the venue for the majority of the club's home games

Following the club's acceptance into the 2018–19 FA Women's Championship, it was revealed that the women's team would be based in Broughton, Salford at The Cliff training ground; subject to completion of redevelopment work.[10] In the meantime United play their fixtures at Leigh Sports Village.[29] Moss Lane serves as a backup venue for when Leigh Sports Village is unavailable.[30] Ewen Fields has also been used as a contingency plan, hosting United’s FA Cup fifth round match against London Bees in February 2019.[31] In March 2021, it was announced that the women's team would play their first ever game at Old Trafford later that month against West Ham United.[32] In March 2022, the team played for the second time at Old Trafford and the first with fans present, beating Everton 3–1 in front of a club record 20,241 fans.[33]


Current squad[edit]

Manchester United in February 2019 before a match against Arsenal
As of 15 September 2023[34][35][36]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
3 DF England ENG Gabby George
4 DF England ENG Maya Le Tissier
5 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Aoife Mannion
6 DF England ENG Hannah Blundell
7 FW England ENG Ella Toone
8 MF Spain ESP Irene Guerrero
9 FW France FRA Melvine Malard (on loan from Lyon)[37]
10 MF England ENG Katie Zelem (captain)
11 FW England ENG Leah Galton
12 MF Wales WAL Hayley Ladd
14 DF Canada CAN Jayde Riviere
15 DF Wales WAL Gemma Evans
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 MF Norway NOR Lisa Naalsund
17 FW Spain ESP Lucía García
20 MF Japan JPN Hinata Miyazawa
21 DF England ENG Millie Turner
22 FW England ENG Nikita Parris
23 FW Brazil BRA Geyse
25 DF England ENG Evie Rabjohn
27 GK England ENG Mary Earps
28 FW England ENG Rachel Williams
34 MF Scotland SCO Emma Watson
91 GK United States USA Phallon Tullis-Joyce

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
26 MF England ENG Grace Clinton (at Tottenham Hotspur)[38]

Player of the Year[edit]

Season Player of the Year Players' Player of the Year
Name Nationality Position Notes Ref. Name Nationality Position Notes Ref.
2018–19 Katie Zelem  England Midfielder Inaugural winner [39]
2019–20 Hayley Ladd  Wales Midfielder [40]
2020–21 Ona Batlle  Spain Defender First non-British winner [41]
2021–22 Ella Toone  England Forward [42] Alessia Russo  England Forward Inaugural winner [43]
2022–23 Alessia Russo  England Forward [44] Hannah Blundell  England Defender [45]

Reserves and academy[edit]

Despite not having a senior women's team for many years, Manchester United have continued to run a girls regional talent club up to under-16 level in accordance with FA regulations.[46] The club's partner charity, The Manchester United Foundation, also works in coaching girls at all ages across the Greater Manchester region.[4] Ahead of the 2019–20 season, Manchester United entered a full-time U21 team into the FA WSL Academy League for the first time, managed by Charlotte Healy.[47][48] The club's development team had contested the WSL Academy Cup final against Arsenal the previous season.[49]

Under-21 squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
31 MF England ENG Rebecca May
35 DF England ENG Sasha McTiffin
39 GK Wales WAL Safia Middleton-Patel
49 FW Wales WAL Olivia Francis
52 MF England ENG Holly Deering
53 GK England ENG Jennifer Handy
61 MF England ENG Tamira Livingston
63 GK England ENG Kacey Bolton-Woollam
65 DF England ENG Olivia Moulton
No. Pos. Nation Player
DF England ENG Amaris Ince
MF Republic of Ireland IRL Layla Proctor
FW United Arab Emirates UAE Fay Al-Qaimi
MF Wales WAL Mayzee Davies
DF England ENG Zaiba Ishaque
DF England ENG Ruby Johnson
MF England ENG Anna Fletcher
FW England ENG Megan Sofield

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
36 FW England ENG Alyssa Aherne (at Everton until 30 June 2024)[50]
37 FW England ENG Keira Barry (at Crystal Palace until 30 June 2024)[51]
38 DF England ENG Jessica Simpson (at Bristol City until 30 June 2024)[52]
42 DF Wales WAL Bella Reidford (dual registration with Burnley until 30 June 2024)[53]
43 FW England ENG Eleanor Ashton (dual registration with Derby County until 30 June 2024)[54]

Academy manager history[edit]

Position Staff
Under-21s manager England Charlotte Healy[47] (2019–present)

Academy honours[edit]

  • FA WSL Academy League National Champions: 1
  • FA WSL Academy League Northern Division: 1
  • FA WSL Academy Cup: 1

Academy graduates[edit]

The following is a list of academy players who have made senior team appearances. Bold indicates the player is still at the club.

Coaching staff[edit]


As of 30 June 2023.
Position Staff
Manager England Marc Skinner
Assistant Coach England Charlotte Healy
Goalkeeping coach England Ian Willcock[58]
Strength & conditioning coach England Tommy Munday

Higher management[edit]

Position Staff
Director of football England John Murtough[59]
Head of women's football England Polly Bancroft[59]
For a full list see Management of Manchester United F.C.

Managerial statistics[edit]

Information correct as of 27 May 2023. Only competitive matches are counted.

List of Manchester United W.F.C. managers
Image Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA Win%[nb 1] Honours Notes
Casey Stoney  England 8 June 2018 16 May 2021 77 52 6 19 213 60 067.53 1 Championship title [12][60]
Marc Skinner  England 29 July 2021 present 61 40 12 9 138 56 065.57 [61]




  • GS = Group stage
  • QF = Quarter-finals
  • SF = Semi-finals
Champions Runners-up Promoted Relegated

Season summary[edit]

Results of league and cup competitions by season
Season League FA Cup League Cup Champions League Top goalscorer[nb 2]
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Name Goals
2018–19 Championship 20 18 1 1 98 7 55 1st QF SF N/A Jessica Sigsworth 18
2019–20 WSL 14 7 2 5 24 12 23 4th R4 SF Lauren James 9
2020–21 WSL 22 15 2 5 44 20 47 4th R5 GS Did not qualify Ella Toone 10
2021–22 WSL 22 12 6 4 45 22 42 4th R5 SF Alessia Russo 11
2022–23 WSL 22 18 2 2 56 12 56 2nd RU GS Alessia Russo 13




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External links[edit]