The Beginning


We open only the second YMCA in the world. Today the YMCA is active in 120 countries and has 120 million members.


Eleven prominent Mancunians plus 26 firms and individuals fund the purchase of No.31

Piccadilly. It’s big but becomes quickly outgrown by the organisation.


We acquire the Museum building in Peter Street.

It’s renovated to provide a 1200 seat lecture hall; another with 400 seats; a gym; reading room and libraries; educational rooms; and a restaurant providing ‘nourishing refreshments at moderate prices’.


Membership passes the 1,000 mark for the first time and more than 3000 attend 48 educational classes on offer.
Early 1900s


We move into a five-storey purpose built replacement.

It’s 80,000 square feet include a gymnasium, wooden elevated running track, two fives courts on the roof and, thanks to the newly invented reinforced concrete, a swimming pool near the top of the building.


The Manchester YMCA Wrestling and Rugby Fives clubs are established.


The ‘red triangle’ –representing body, mind, spirit – originates in Manchester and becomes the symbol of YMCAs throughout the world.


Membership reaches almost 4,500.
Post-war period


We establish and manage resettlement programmes for soldiers returning from World War II.


Jack Crompton, a member since the age of 11, wins the FA Cup with Manchester United Jack was awarded an honorary YMCA membership in 2011 in recognition of his contribution to the clubs history by bringing the Busby Babes squad to train here during the 1950’s.

Jack sadly passed away in 2014


We become a post-war sports and fitness powerhouse:

The YMCA basketball team becomes European Champions; The football team takes the Lancashire Amateur Championship; other YMCA clubs thrive including boxing; judo; hockey; wrestling; harriers; cycling; swimming; and fives.


Manchester United enrol all of their players as members.


Seven of our members, all Manchester United footballers, tragically perish in the Munich air crash.


Boxer Andy Bailey represents England at The Empire Games in Perth Australia.

1970’s & 1980’s

• Community work becomes more prominent as we begin to reach out beyond our membership.

• Sporting success continues as the wrestling club becomes one of the pre-eminent clubs in Europe.

• In 1972 aged 17 Joey Gilligan is selected to represent Great Britain at the Munich Olympics in wrestling.

• Fitz Walker wrestles at 3 Olympic Games, 3 Commonwealth Games, 3 Commonwealth championships and also gains a place in the Guinness World Book of Records.

5 Fitz












• Stef Kurpas wrestles at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane 1982 and at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.

6 Stef












• Wayne Enstone becomes the National Fives Champion and goes on to win the title a further 22 times.

• In 1979 John Hilton becomes European Table Tennis Champion.


Equal status is given to women in our constitution – it took a long time, but we got there.


We move to our current purpose built home in Castlefield Basin. A return to providing accommodation with the opening of the Castlefield Hotel and a brand new health and fitness facility – the Y Club.


At just 18 years old, wrestler Sophie Edwards represents England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.