Northampton v Manchester United; here's the club comparison

Manchester United legend George Best
Tom White

Northampton host Manchester United in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, seeking a second and more notable Premier League scalp after beating West Brom in round two.

Let's compare the League One minnows to their illustrious opponents...


Paul Pogba's world-record £89million summer move stands in stark contrast to the record fee paid by the Cobblers, £165,000 to Oldham for Josh Low in 2003. "J-Lo" made over 100 appearances in a three-year spell that ended in promotion to League One, before moving on to Leicester at the end of his contract.


World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton's United appearance record of 758 stood until passed by Ryan Giggs in the 2008 Champions League final, and he remains five clear of Wayne Rooney on 249 goals. He survived the Munich air crash, was named European footballer of the year in 1966, scored twice in the 1968 European Cup final win and also won three league titles and the 1963 FA Cup with the club. Now a club ambassador, he is commemorated alongside George Best and Denis Law in Old Trafford's 'Holy Trinity' statue.

Left winger Tommy Fowler made a club-record 585 appearances in 16 years with Northampton from 1945 to 1961, having been invited to join the club by coach Jack Jennings while recovering in hospital from injuries sustained while serving in France during the Second World War. His 88 goals place him eighth among Town's all-time record scorers. Fowler settled in the town after his retirement until his death in 2009, aged 84.


For United, "that night in Barcelona". Stoppage-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw Bayern Munich defeated 2-1 in the Champions League final, adding to the Premier League and FA Cup wins already achieved to complete a memorable trophy treble.

Northampton's sole top-flight season, in 1965-66, ended in relegation but brought a club-record attendance of 24,523 against Fulham at the old County Ground which prompted then-Manchester City manager Joe Mercer to claim: "The miracle of 1966 was not England winning the World Cup, but Northampton reaching Division One."

It was sandwiched by the club's best ever runs in the League Cup, reaching the fifth round in 1964-65 and 1966-67, while they reached the same stage of the FA Cup in 1969-70, when they were hammered 8-2 by United as George Best scored a double hat-trick.


Twenty league titles, 12 FA Cups, four league cups, three European Cups and a Cup Winners' Cup make United one of the world's most decorated clubs.

Town have three divisional titles to their name - Division Three in 1963, and two fourth-tier titles in 1987 and 2016.


United's "Theatre of Dreams" Old Trafford holds 76,000 and matchday income in the club's most recent accounts was stated at £106.6m for the 12 months to June 30 this year.

Sixfields' attendance record is 7,664, against Luton in League Two last season, and its record gate receipts £220,000 against United in the 2003-04 FA Cup.


United won that FA Cup tie in January 2004 3-0, with goals from Mikael Silvestre and Diego Forlan - who had earlier seen a penalty saved by Lee Harper - and an own goal from Town's Chris Hargreaves. The match was notable for being the first FA Cup appearance of one Cristiano Ronaldo.

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