Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) depot at Newton Heath.The team initially played games against other departments and rail companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match; wearing the colours of the railway company – green and gold – they were defeated 6–0 by Bolton Wanderers' reserve team.By 1888, the club had become a founding member of The Combination, a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League. This resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the rail company and dropped the "LYR" from its name.After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division.
United boss David Moyes says he is relishing fulfilling his dream of managing in the Champions League group stages for the first time.The Scot, 50, led his former club Everton to the qualifying stage of Europe's top club competition in 2005-06, but the Toffees failed to reach the group stage after they were knocked out by Spanish side Villarreal."I've been excited about it ever since I've joined Manchester United," he said."I've been there before with Everton - we didn't quite make the group stages but this is different. This is a club that's used to getting to the latter stages."United are favourites to reach the knockout stage as Group A winners after being drawn alongside Leverkusen, Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk and Spanish side Real Sociedad."You used to be able to always pick out the group winners but in the last few years that has become more difficult," said Moyes."It is more unpredictable than it was. We've got a leading team from Germany, one from Spain and we go to Donetsk to play Shakhtar. It's a tough group."Leverkusen finished third in the German top-flight last season, just one point behind runners-up Borussia Dortmund, to earn their spot in this season's Champions League.