For the workers hurrying from their factories a century ago today, crossing the Canal Bridge and streaming towards the gleaming turnstiles, Manchester United's new abode appeared more than a home fit for footballing heroes.
Old Trafford was a mission statement, a declaration of ambition, a trait the club has never lost even during the dark moments which have punctuated the ensuing, eventful 100 years.
For the young apprentices leading the charge as their Saturday shift ended, Old Trafford truly dominated their horizon. Unlike United's former residence, the Bank Street ground hemmed in by terraced housing, a place so dilapidated it had blown over in a gale two days before, this sporting palace was set in 16 acres. Anticipation rose and rose as supporters flocked towards it like pilgrims.
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