The full-back and captain of the team. He began to fundraise, organising such things as the selling of Heathen shares for £1, and a ‘Grand Bazaar’. He managed to gather enough money for travel expenses to away games and found the Heathens a ground at Harpurhey to play their home games at. Stafford also managed to get four Manchester businessmen to invest £500 each in return for having a say in the running of the club. One of these investors, John Henry Davies, went on to become president of Newton Heath and was later to invest £60,000 in the building of their new ground, Old Trafford.
Newton Heath had been saved by this fundraising and was entering a new era. It was felt that a new era called for a new name. After ideas such as ‘Manchester Celtic’ and ‘Manchester Central’ were rejected, it was decided that the new name would be ‘Manchester United.’
Robert Donaldson scored Newton Heath’s first-ever goal in the Football League on his debut for the club and went on to score Newton Heath’s first hat-trick.
Harry Stafford was a well-loved full-back who rescued the club from extinction. He was captain of the team and earned himself a place on the board.
Alfred Farman scored 25 goals in 60 games when Newton Heath was in the Football Alliance and went on to score a hat-trick for the team in their first match at the new ground in Bank Street.
James ‘The Little Wonder’ McNaught was given his nickname due to his skill and size. The forward dislocated his elbow in a pre-season friendly in March 1893. He ended up having to wait six months for his debut. In his first season, Newton Heath was relegated to the Second Division, and, in 1898, McNaught joined Tottenham Hotspur for a payrise.
George Perrins was a hefty right half-back and tackled with a great deal of force. In 1893, The Birmingham Gazette labelled him ‘dirty’, causing Newton Heath to sue and win one farthing in damages. However, they were also forced to pay large legal costs which led to the club’s bankruptcy.