Manchester United Football Club is one of the most successful and famous clubs in the beautiful game. Over the years, they have enjoyed enormous success, picking up silverware galore. Many of those successful teams were powered by top forwards, some of whom were prolific in front of goal.
United have had some truly lethal goalscorers in their history. Here are Red Devils’ top ten all-time top goalscorers:
Wayne Rooney (253 goals in 559 appearances)
The club’s record all-time goalscorer is, of course, former England international Wayne Rooney, who scored 253 goals in his 559 appearances for the club. The forward is also the second-highest-ever goalscorer in the history of the Premier League with 208 goals.
Rooney’s goals helped the Red Devils to win five Premier League titles and also the Champions League, among other silverware. When it comes to individual awards, the forward also won PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year in 2010, as well as Manchester United Player of the Year in the same season.
Sir Bobby Charlton (249 goals in 758 appearances)
Charlton is a United and England legend and played for the club for 17 years, notching a remarkable 249 goals from his position in the centre of the pitch. He is one of the United players that survived the 1958 Munich air disaster that killed many of his teammates.
On the pitch, Charlton inspired his team to win the English First Division title on three occasions, as well as playing a role in the Red Devils’ 1968 European Cup triumph. Arguably his biggest achievement in the game was helping England to win the World Cup in 1966 on home soil.
Denis Law (237 goals in 404 appearances)
The Scotland international is revered at United as a true club legend. Law is another of United’s 1968 European Cup-winning team. The forward also helped the Red Devils to win the title on two occasions alongside Bobby Charlton.
On an individual basis, Law’s biggest individual accomplishment came in 1964 when he won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award. He also finished as the top goalscorer in the European Cup in season 1968/69.
Ironically, arguably one of his most notable goals came against United while playing for city rivals Manchester City on the last day of season 1973/74. His goal for the Citizens in a 1-0 victory over United at Old Trafford sealed the Red Devils’ relegation to the Second Division.
Jack Rowley (211 goals in 424 appearances)
Rowley joined United at the tender age of 17 for £3000 from his hometown club, Wolves. The forward would enjoy a 17-year career with the Red Devils, proving to be lethal in front of goal.
Rowley’s time at United was not as trophy-laden as some on this list. However, he did win the First Division title with the men from Manchester in 1952. He had also won the FA Cup four years earlier, scoring a brace in a 4-2 final win over a Blackpool side containing the great Stan Mortensen.
Dennis Violett (179 goals in 293 appearances)
The forward was one of the Busby Babes who survived the Munich air disaster and played in their ill-fated last match together in 1958. Violett’s United career lasted nine years. He helped his team to the First Division title in 1956 and 1957.
On an individual basis, Violett finished as the top goalscorer in the 1957 European Cup. However, arguably his most significant achievement came in season 1959/60, when he produced the most prolific league campaign of his career, scoring 32 goals in 36 league appearances, which is still a record goal tally in a single league season for United.
George Best (179 goals in 470 appearances)
The Northern Irishman is still to this day considered to be one of the best players ever to grace a United shirt. Best won the First Division title on two occasions with United, as well as the European Cup, scoring in a 4-1 extra-time win over Eusebio’s Benfica.
The forward picked up a few individual awards during his United career too. In 1968 Best won the Ballon d’Or, becoming the second United player after Law to win the award. Best also won the First Division Golden Boot in 1968 after scoring 28 goals in the English top flight. The same year he was awarded the FWA Player of the Year award.
Joe Spence (168 goals in 510 appearances)
The forward from the north east represented United for 14 years, proving prolific and highly consistent in front of goal for the Red Devils. Spence had previously played for United’s arch-rivals Liverpool as a guest player.
Unfortunately, Spence didn’t get to lift any silverware during his United career. However, he was part of the Red Devils team that won promotion from the Second Division in season 1924/25.
Ryan Giggs (168 goals in 963 appearances)
The Welshman was the ultimate one-club man, making an incredible 963 appearances, which is a United record, during a career that spanned 24 years. Giggs is one of the most decorated players in the history of football, as he won the Premier League a record 13 times, the Champions League twice, as well as the FA Cup on four occasions, amongst other trophies.
Giggs has also won numerous individual awards, including the PFA Player of the Year in 2009 and Young Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
The former Manchester City trainee went on to become United interim boss for four games, as well as managing his national team until November 2020.
Mark Hughes (163 goals in 467 appearances)
Hughes played for many clubs in his long football career. However, he is best known to many for his two spells at United spanning 14 years. The Welshman won the Premier League title in seasons 1992/93 and 1993/94 with United, as well as the European Cup Winners’ Cup, where he scored a brace in a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the final of the competition.
Among the individual awards, Hughes won was the Young Player of the Year in 1985 while also getting into the First Division team of the season in 1986, 1989, 1991 and 1992. The most prolific league campaign of his career came in season 1985/86 when he scored 17 goals in 40 appearances in the First Division.
Paul Scholes (155 goals in 718 appearances)
Another modern-day United legend, Scholes’ career with the club spanned two decades. The England international won the Premier League on 11 occasions with the Red Devils, as well as the Champions League on two occasions, that’s without mentioning numerous other trophies he won throughout his illustrious career.
Scholes was never a prolific goal scorer, with his best goal tally coming in season 2012/13, when he scored 13 goals in the Premier League. However, he was a scorer of great goals and a highly influential presence in the United team that was so successful during Sir Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden tenure at the club.