Manchester United’s all-time top scorers

Manchester United’s all-time top scorers

Manchester United have had countless incredible players over the years, all of whom have made an impact on the club and its history in their own ways.

Many have won league titles and FA Cups, while some have also laid hands on the European Cup/Champions League and the Ballon d’Or.

Over a century of history means scoring goals for United is like scoring goals for no other club.

Here’s a look at the top 30 of United’s all-time top goalscorers.

Sammy McIlroySammy McIlroy
Sammy McIlroy was Man Utd joint top scorer in 1973/74 | Getty Images/Getty Images

United career: 1971 – 1982
United appearances: 419

Sammy McIlroy joined an ageing United side breaking up in the early 1970s but was a key part of the side that later re-established itself in the top flight following a relegation setback in 1974.

Frank Stapleton of Manchester UnitedFrank Stapleton of Manchester United
Frank Stapleton was Man Utd’s main #9 in the 1980s | Getty Images/Getty Images

United career: 1981 – 1987
United appearances: 288

Frank Stapleton was top scorer three years in a row when he first joined United from Arsenal in 1981 but was among those that Alex Ferguson soon dispensed with later in the decade.

Anthony MartialAnthony Martial
Man Utd spent big on Anthony Martial at 19 | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

United career: 2015 – present
United appearances: 253

Anthony Martial was a big hit when he first arrived as the world’s most expensive teenager from Monaco in 2015, although the Frenchman has struggled for consistency ever since.

Manchester United football team for 1911Manchester United football team for 1911
Enoch West was a league champion in 1911 | Culture Club/Getty Images

United career: 1910 – 1916
United appearances: 181

Enoch West strengthened a United side that had already won the league title and FA Cup in the preceding years when he joined in 1910, only to see his career ended by a life-time ban for alleged match fixing in 1915.

Eric CantonaEric Cantona
Eric Cantona was the main catalyst for 1990s success | Getty Images/Getty Images

United career: 1992 – 1997
United appearances: 185

His United career was ultimately less than five years in length, yet Eric Cantona is a crucial figure in the club’s history. He was a catalyst for success in the 1990s and his legacy lived on after his early retirement.

David BeckhamDavid Beckham
David Beckham often scored goals from midfield | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

United career: 1992 – 2003
United appearances: 394

Although primarily known for pinpoint crossing and assists, David Beckham regularly chipped in with goals of his own during his United career and reached double figures in four separate seasons.

Marcus RashfordMarcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford is rapidly rising up the list | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

United career: 2016 – present
United appearances: 253

An injury crisis handed Marcus Rashford a surprise debut at 18 against Midtjylland in the Europa League. He scored a brace, then got another two against Arsenal a few days later and has never looked back.

Lou MacariLou Macari
Lou Macari spent 11 years at Man Utd | Frank Tewkesbury/Getty Images

United career: 1973 – 1984
United appearances: 401

Scottish midfielder Lou Macari scored 11 goals as United won the Second Division title in 1975, while he scored another 12 in the First Division the following season to help consolidate after promotion.

Bryan RobsonBryan Robson
Bryan Robson was at his peak in the 1980s | Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images

United career: 1981 – 1994
United appearances: 461

Bryan Robson cost an ambitious United a British record transfer fee of £1.5m in 1981, proving to be worth every penny over 13 years and also becoming the club’s longest serving captain in the process.

Manchester United football team for 1911Manchester United football team for 1911
George Wall won two league titles in the early 1900s | Culture Club/Getty Images

United career: 1906 – 1915
United appearances: 319

The goals of George Wall helped deliver United’s first two league titles in 1908 and 1911, as well as a first ever FA Cup in 1909. But his career was put on hold by the First World War and he moved elsewhere afterwards.

United career: 1893, 1895 – 1900
United appearances: 174

Scottish forward Joe Cassidy had two spells at United while the club was still known by former name Newton Heath, who were primarily a second tier side during his time in Manchester.

Manchester United football team for 1911Manchester United football team for 1911
Sandy Turnbull scored the 1909 FA Cup final winner | Culture Club/Getty Images

United career: 1907 – 1915
United appearances: 247

Sandy Turnbull scored the only goal of the 1909 FA Cup final against Bristol City, as well as the first ever goal at Old Trafford in 1910. He was tragically killed during the First World War in 1917 at the Battle of Arras.

Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo of ManchestPortuguese Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchest
Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2008 Ballon d’Or at Man Utd | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

United career: 2003 – 2009
United appearances: 292

Cristiano Ronaldo transformed from talented youngster to elite gamechanger in 2006, while in 2008 he became only the fourth United player in history to win the Ballon d’Or – and the first in 40 years.

Andy ColeAndy Cole
Andrew Cole is the Premier League’s third all-time top scorer | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

United career: 1995 – 2001
United appearances: 275

Within a few months of joining United in a British record transfer worth £7m, Andrew Cole became the first Premier League player to score five goals in a game when he did so in a 9-0 thrashing of Ipswich in 1995.

Ole Gunnar SolskjaerOle Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the 1999 Champions League winner | Getty Images/Getty Images

United career: 1996 – 2007
United appearances: 366

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have scored more United goals but for three years of serious knee injuries in his early thirties. But his legacy will forever be the dramatic 1999 Champions League final winning goal.

Brian McClairBrian McClair
Brian McClair was a big early Fergie signing | Getty Images/Getty Images

United career: 1987 – 1998
United appearances: 471

Brian McClair scored 31 goals in his first season at United in 1987/88 and was one of Alex Ferguson’s earliest signings. He was most prolific before the Premier League era began, dropping deeper later in his career.

Tommy TaylorTommy Taylor
Tommy Taylor cost Man Utd £29,999 in 1953 | Central Press/Getty Images

United career: 1953 – 1958
United appearances: 191

Tommy Taylor scored at least 20 league goals in each of his first four full seasons at United following a 1953 transfer from Barnsley. But in 1958 his life was tragically cut short at the age of 26 in the Munich air disaster.

David HerdDavid Herd
David Herd was crucial to the post-Munich 1960s rebuild | Terry Disney/Getty Images

United career: 1961 – 1968
United appearances: 265

Bought from Arsenal in 1961, David Herd helped United win their first trophy after the Munich air disaster when he scored twice in the 1963 FA Cup final. He peaked with 33 goals in all competitions in 1965/66.

Stan Pearson, Johnny MorrisStan Pearson, Johnny Morris
Stan Pearson joined Man Utd aged 16 in 1935 | Central Press/Getty Images

United career: 1936 – 1954
United appearances: 343

Stan Pearson was among a whole generation of players who lost six years of their career due to the outbreak of the Second World War. He eventually won the FA Cup in 1948 and the First Division title in 1952.

Ruud van NistelrooyRuud van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy scored 44 goals in 2002/03 alone | PAUL BARKER/Getty Images

United career: 2001 – 2006
United appearances: 210

Ruud van Nistelrooy had a phenomenal strike rate during his United career, averaging 30 goals a season over five years. He even missed a sizeable chunk of one campaign because of a serious knee injury.

Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the matchPaul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal of the match
Paul Scholes often scored double figures from midfield | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

United career: 1994 – 2011, 2012 – 2013
United appearances: 718

Paul Scholes was a regular source of goals from midfield throughout the first half of his United career, peaking with 20 in all competitions in 2002/03. He later adopted a deeper role in his thirties.

Mark HughesMark Hughes
Mark Hughes had two spells at Old Trafford | Ben Radford/Getty Images

United career: 1983 – 1986, 1988 – 1995
United appearances: 467

Alex Ferguson brought Mark Hughes back to Old Trafford from Barcelona in 1988 and the Welshman was a crucial part of the side that won the FA Cup in 1990, the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1991 and the Premier League in 1993.

Ryan GiggsRyan Giggs
Ryan Giggs played a record 963 Man Utd games | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

United career: 1991 – 2014
United appearances: 963

No one will ever likely beat Ryan Giggs’ record of 963 United appearances, making his debut at 17 and retiring at 40. His tally of 13 Premier League titles will also almost certainly never be touched.

United career: 1919 – 1933
United appearances: 510

Joe Spence was United’s biggest star of the period that immediately followed the First World War, although it wasn’t a great time for the club, spending a significant amount of time in the Second Division.

George BestGeorge Best
George Best was only 27 when he quit Man Utd | Joe Bangay/Getty Images

United career: 1963 – 1974
United appearances: 470

George Best is often unfairly perceived as a wasted talent, but it is important to remember he had achieved more by the age of just 22, when he won the European Cup and Ballon d’Or, than most during a whole career.

Dennis ViolletDennis Viollet
Dennis Viollet was a survivor of the Munich air disaster | Getty Images/Getty Images

United career: 1953 – 1962
United appearances: 293

Dennis Viollet was a key member of the Busby Babes generation and scored at least 20 goals in all competitions six seasons in a row between 1954 and 1960. His 32 goals in 1959/60 is a club record in the league.

Jack RowleyJack Rowley
Jack Rowley was Man Utd’s chief goal threat after WWII | Central Press/Getty Images

United career: 1937 – 1955
United appearances: 424

Jack Rowley spent much of his United career in tandem with the aforementioned Stan Pearson, having emerged at a similar time and peaked in the late 1940s and early 1950s after the Second World War.

Denis LawDenis Law
Denis Law was nicknamed ‘The King’ at Man Utd | Fox Photos/Getty Images

United career: 1962 – 1973
United appearances: 404

Denis Law scored seven minutes into his United debut in 1962 following a British record transfer arrival from Torino. He went on to score 46 goals in 1963/64, still a club record for a single season, and won the Ballon d’Or.

Bobby CharltonBobby Charlton
Bobby Charlton was regularly nominated for the Ballon d’Or | Lee/Getty Images

United career: 1956 – 1973
United appearances: 758

Bobby Charlton is arguably the greatest United player and greatest English player of all time. He was among the best in the world throughout the 1960s and inspired United to glory after surviving the Munich air disaster.

Manchester United's English striker WaynManchester United's English striker Wayn
Wayne Rooney scored his most famous goal in 2011 | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

United career: 2004 – 2017
United appearances: 559

Wayne Rooney eventually broke Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring records for both England and United, taking the latter in 2017. He was only a prolific scorer in a handful of seasons but found the net consistently for 13 years.

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