Stretford (pop. 37,500) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Lying on flat ground between the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal, it is to the southwest of Manchester city centre, south-southwest of Salford and northeast of Altrincham. Stretford is contiguous with the suburb of Chorlton-cum-Hardy to the east, and the towns of Urmston to the west, Salford to the north, and Sale to the south. The Bridgewater Canal bisects the town.
Historically in Lancashire, during much of the 19th century Stretford was an agricultural village known locally as Porkhampton, a reference to the large number of pigs produced for the nearby Manchester market. It was also an extensive market gardening area, producing more than of vegetables each week for sale in Manchester by 1845. The arrival of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, and the subsequent development of the Trafford Park industrial estate in the north of the town, accelerated the industrialisation that had begun in the late 19th century. By 2001 less than 1% of Stretford's population was employed in agriculture.
Stretford has been the home of Manchester United Football Club since 1910, and of Lancashire County Cricket Club since 1864. Notable residents have included the industrialist, philanthropist, and Manchester's first multi-millionaire John Rylands, the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, the painter L. S. Lowry, Morrissey and Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.
Municipal Borough of Stretford
Stretford was, from 1868 to 1974, a local government district coterminate with the town of Stretford in the then county of Lancashire, England.
The Local Government Act 1894 reconstituted the local board's area as Stretford Urban District. An urban district council of eighteen members replaced the local board. The urban district was divided into six wards: Clifford, Cornbrook, Longford, Stretford, Talbot and Trafford (commonly known as Old Trafford). In 1933 the urban district was enlarged when part of the Davyhulme area was added on the abolition of the neighbouring Barton-upon-Irwell Rural District by a county review order.
Stretford Urban District was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972, and its former area transferred to the new county of Greater Manchester in 1974, to form part of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.