60 years ago today, United started 1959 with a 3-1 away defeat at Bristol City, unlike the current team which has just begun the New Year with a 3-0 away win. I am starting this thread (intending to see it through to the end of the season) to make comparisons between then and now, basing it mostly on my chaotic programme collection and disintegrating scrapbooks, started when I was 10 years old. I hope there will be interest and contributions from those who like history, like to know how football has changed, and in what ways the Blades never change, and what it means to follow a club all your life. If it doesn't work out well, I will have at least enjoyed my nostalgic trip, and not wasted much of your time. A few preliminaries. United started the New Year in 5th place of the 2nd tier of football (then called correctly League Division 2), 5 points away from the 2nd automatic promotion place (only 2 points for a win then, and no play-off places). We had been good but inconsistent in the autumn, but won the last 3 games in December, finishing the year with 2-1 wins home and away against Grimsby. The away match was our last Xmas Day match ever; much as I grumble about Sky messing up fixtures for fans to attend, the authorities were well able to do the same over many years. Imagine working out how to get to Grimsby on Xmas Day by public transport. Has anyone on here ever been to an away match on Xmas Day? The return match was on December 27, in front of a crowd of 27,551, marred by a dodgy referee who sent off a player from each side at a time when you needed to commit GBH to be even spoken to by a ref. And one of the goals was inevitably scored by Pace (before he was sent off), who was scoring goals almost every game (6 in 3 games to end the Year). Almost a carbon copy of the Blackburn game last week? Whilst things in December were going well on the pitch, off the pitch the club was in melt-down. Manager Joe Mercer and his assistant jumped ship at Xmas and moved to Villa, and the team was being managed by the Chief Scout, Archie Clarke, who continued with the job almost to the end of the season. There were appeals in the first programme of the New Year for everyone to stay calm, as the club had everything under control. Echoes of the present again? And to finish with for the moment, United's next game was a 3rd round Cup-tie at home to Crystal Palace, a lower league side we had never played before. Wednesday were playing at home v West Brom AT THE SAME TIME, and big crowds were expected at both games, as the Cup was the more glamorous competition then. The weather turned bad, with deep snow in Sheffield, and the clubs appealed for fans to go to the grounds with shovels to try and get the games on. There was no undersoil heating in those days. And on that cliff-hanger, I will leave the story for now.