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24 September 2014
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An image from the 1902 film of Manchester United

First ever film of Manchester United unearthed in new BBC series

The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon, Friday 14 January 2005, BBC TWO, 9.00pm


This scratchy, foggy picture may not be the clearest ever seen. But forget the quality, this is a world exclusive.


In a new BBC series, The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon (Friday 14 January, BBC TWO, 9.00pm) this unique footage is the first ever film of the most famous football club in the world - Manchester United.


Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon filmed the match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor, Burnley on 6 December 1902.


Manchester United are in the darker shirts, red as today.


Burnley are in lighter green, before they changed to their famous claret and blue.


Manchester United are playing their very first season as Manchester United.


They had been called Newton Heath, and almost gone bankrupt the previous year. A rich local brewer rescued the club and nearly renamed it Manchester Central before this was rejected as sounding too much like a railway station.


The film was meant to be shown at the Burnley Mechanics Institute that evening.


But Manchester United won two-nil so the film was suppressed, the showing cancelled.


The film has never been seen before by an audience but will be shown in episode two of The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon on Friday 21 January.


This three-part series was made after a local film historian made an amazing archive discovery whilst rummaging in a shop basement in Lancashire: 800 films from pre-First World War were found in sealed barrels which give an unparalleled visual record of Edwardian British life.


Highlights include a Crimewatch reconstruction from 1901 and a silent interview with the last soldier to receive the Victoria Cross from Queen Victoria herself.


The series brings the archive alive using interviews with the descendants of the people captured on film and specially made silent movies.


Shot by pioneering film-makers Mitchell & Kenyon, the discovery of this archive collection will rewrite British film history.


The entire collection of films has being restored by the British Film Institute.


The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon is a co-production between the BBC and BFI.



Category: Factual & Arts TV
Date: 14.01.2005
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