Loading...
Next Match: Image
West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
Sunday 17th December 2017, KO 14:15 UTC.
User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1952 - 1953: Tommy Taylor signs

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:27 am

It was the day Stalin died, but more important to Man United fans it was the day United signed a young inside forward named Tommy Taylor. It was said that 17 different clubs had all put offers in to Barnsley for their free scoring gem, but Matt Busby was the manager who pulled off what was later to prove to be maybe his best signing. The highest fee United had ever spent (29,999 pounds) when asked why he had not made it 30,000 Busby replied that he had not wanted to burden the young man with a 30,000 fee.

Taylor was the final piece in the Busby jigsaw and went from strength to strength with the club. 1953 also saw the debut of another United great to be when a 16 year old Duncan Edwards was told by Busby `go get your boots son, you are playing for the first team against Cardiff City'. So on the 4th of April 1953 Edwards played against Cardiff City, he was the fifth teenager that year to wear the red of Man United.

1953 also marked the retirement of the great club servant Johnny Carey. Carey had appeared for United in no less than 9 different positions, and in seven different spots for his Country Ireland. He had played 344 games for the Reds and had captained them to FA cup and Championship glory. His replacement was a cool young player by the name of Roger Byrne.

Carey went on to become manager of Blackburn Rovers, and later Everton, Leyton Orient, and Notts Forest. In this year the youth team won the FA youth cup. Over two legs they beat Wolves 9-3 on aggregate. The team was Clayton, Fulton, Kennedy, Coleman, Edwards, McFarlaine, Whelan, Lewis, Pegg and Scanlon.

All the youth players that made their debut in these years are a tribute to the scouting skills of Joe Armstrong who succeeded Louis Rocca after the war. The Champions finished the league at only a 8th place, in the FA Cup they came till the fifth round and then lost.



User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1953 - 1954: Babes get first taste of the limelight

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:27 am

1954 saw United's Youth team repeat the previous years victory in the Youth Cup by defeating Wolves in a two legged affair 4-4 (home) and 1-0 at Molineux. The two games were watched by over 40,000 fans, United went on to capture the Youth Cup five times in succession. Many of the Youth team were being introduced into the senior side, Duncan Edwards had become a regular, while players such as Jackie Blanchflower, Dennis Violett, Colin Webster, Albert Scanlon, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Billy Whelan, and Bill Foukes were all experiencing their first taste of League soccer.

Roger Byrne although only 25 years old was already the established captain of the 1st Division side. Of the team that had beaten Wolves eight went on to claim regular spots in the starting lineup for the Reds, and three of these were to lose their lives in the Munich air crash. But still United did not became the champion of England, the finished 4th in the league and lost very disappointing in the third round of the FA Cup.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1954 - 1955: The calm before the storm

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:27 am

The Busby Babes were almost ready to take charge in the England football, but this year they couldn't bring the championship back home. The young team finished 5th in the league and managed to score 84 goals in 42 matches. United got till the fourth round of the FA Cup, while the youth team won another FA Youth Cup final, they won against West Bromwich Albion 7-1 on aggregate.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1955 - 1956: Busby Babes crowned Champions

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:27 am

United's new young team were making noises that they were ready to challenge for England's highest honor, the League Championship. Some football writers were predicting a great future for the exciting new team, but many of them quibbled that there was two much youth, and too little experience for the team to actually scale the top heights.

At the start of the season it looked like the media had been correct, with only three wins in 8 games, but from then on the youngsters found their feet and only lost 4 more games the rest of the season. By Christmas it was all over! United sat on top of the league and were never to look back, in the end they finished 11 points ahead of Blackpool, the youngsters had proved themselves and the English football public were in awe of the youthful Champions.

Young Denis Viollet scored twenty goals in this his first season with the senior squad (he had made his debut in 1953, but had to wait to 1955 to secure his spot in the team). Violett was born in Manchester and went on to score 20 plus goals a season for the next 6 seasons. When he left the Club in 1962 to join Stoke City he had scored 178 goals in 291 appearances (he went on to score 59 more at Stoke before leaving for the USA).

The championship was secured on April 7th when 62,277 fans watched the Red Devils beat Blackpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. In a period of 10 years United had only been out of the top 4 spots twice, and the latest Championship had been won by a team whose average age was just 22. United's fourth league title was ample consoladation for a shock exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Bristol Rovers. They still hadn't managed to win the double.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1956 - 1957: United's first steps into Europe

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:28 am

The Championship in 1955 had entitled United to play in a new competition named the European Cup. The competition had been dreamed up by the French Newspaper 'L'Equipe'. Chelsea had been invited the previous year but at the prompting of the Football League they had turned the chance down. United also heard serious argument from the football powers, but Manager Matt Busby stood defiant, even risking sanctions to accept the offer and to pave the way into Europe for the English. Busby as always was on the cutting edge of the game, he believed his young side were a match for the best in Europe, and was determined to prove his point. The Football league eventually backed down to him and United were in Europe!

At this time Old Trafford did not have floodlights, and it was our friends from across the City who once again came to our rescue. all United's home games in the European cup were to played at Maine road, the home of Manchester City. In the first tie they were drawn against Belgian Champions Anderlecht, who they disposed of 10-0. The next game they were drawn against the German team Borussia Dortmund, who they also disposed of to go on to meet the Spanish Champions Bilbao. Playing in Spain in the first leg the team slumped to its first defeat in the competition losing 5-2, on the return over 70,000 fans packed into Maine Road to watch them make a stunning comeback and defeat Bilbao 3-0 on goals from Taylor and Violett (2). By this time the accolades were pouring in, Jeff Mermans the Anderlecht captain called them 'Worldbeaters', and the Daily Herald's George Follows described the Bilbao game as "the greatest football match he had ever seen, the greatest football crowd he had ever heard, and the greatest centre forward display he had ever seen."

Everyone agreed, it had been Tommy Taylors Night! The team had also been on a big bonus to win the tie, a whopping 3 pounds! United were through to the semi-final, and the Mighty Real Madrid. The Spanish team boasted World class stars like Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kopa, Puskas, Gento and the Russian keeper Yashin. On the first leg the youth of the United team showed and Madrid tore them apart before 125,000 Fans in Bernabeau Stadium 3-1. The Old Trafford floodlights had been installed in time for the second leg and the game was played before 65,000, but it was not to be United's day and they settled for a 2-2 draw and elimination from the competition. Interestingly United's late equaliser came from a young forward named Bobby Charlton.

In addition to the good European Cup run, things had being going well on the domestic front with United through to Wembley to face Aston Villa, having already clinched the League Championship by finishing 8 points ahead of Spurs. The team were odds on favourites to clinch the Double with a win against Villa, but with just six minutes gone Villa's flying winger Peter McParland recklessly charged United keeper Ray Wood, who had possession of the ball and was preparing to kick upfield. It was a particularity nasty foul, and it has been debated many times over the years why the ref allowed McParland to remain on the field.

Woods' cheekbone had been shattered, and the United team were down to 10 men, (No subs allowed) so Jackie Blanchfower donned the goalie shirt for the rest of the second half which finished 0-0. Woods made a brave effort to return to the goal in the second half, but the weakened United team succumbed to two goals from McParland and their dream of League and Cup double had been extinguished. The building of a team that was christened the `Busby Babes' around 1956 was complete, but actually started in the youth teams of 1952 and on. The United youth team won the FA youth cup from the years 1952 through to 1957.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1958

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:30 am

RIP

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1958 - 1959: Rebuilding from the ashes of Munich

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:30 am

The Munich tragedy was a big shock for United, they last matches of the season a whole new team had to be build. Jimmy Murphy moved quickly to sign Emie Taylor from Blackpool and Stan Crowther from Aston Villa. They, together with Bill Foulkes, Harry Gregg and a mixture of reserve and junior players made a patched-up side to complete the season's fixture. This season the team was still being rebuilt with Wilf McGuiness, Warren Bradley and Albert Quixall, a record 45,000 pond buy from Sheffield Wednesday, coming into the side. United did very well in the league, the finished 2nd and scored 103 goals, Bobby Chartlon hits 29 goals. In the FA Cup they reached the third round, but lost there.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1959 - 1960: Slow rebuildling process continues

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:30 am

After the Munich air disaster United were struggling to put together a strong team. Albert Quixall had been bought in August 1958, but had failed to repeat his goal scoring feats attained at Sheffield Wednesday.

Maurice Setters was signed from West Brom to plug a leaky defence that had let in 54 goals in 25 games. These new players combined with the established team members, Charlton, Gregg, Foulkes, Dawson, Brennan, Giles, McGuinness, and Dennis Viollet. Viollet continued his goal scoring form to score a record 32 goals in only 36 appearances. Crowds of up to 65,000 attended United's games even though success eluded them. United finished seventh in the league and were knocked out of the FA cup by Sheffield Wednesday in the 5th round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1960 - 1961: Mid-table mediocrity

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:31 am

Busby strengthened the team with Cantwell from West Ham, Dunne from the Irish league and the home grown Stiles, and Gaskell, who for the next few years was to share the goal keeping responsibilities with Gregg.

United had another unsuccessful year finishing once again seventh and only reaching the 3rd round of the FA cup. Although 61,000 saw the local derby against Manchester City and 65,000 the Spurs game, attendances were starting to drop. Highs of the year included a 6-0 vs Chelsea and Burnley. A low of 0-6 against Leicester occurred, also a 2-7 drubbing from Sheffield Wednesdy in the FA cup. For the first time in their history Manchester United played in the league cup, but they were not very succesful, they lost in the second round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1961 - 1962: Attendances start to wane

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:31 am

This season saw Herd recruited from Arsenal, having previously played locally for Stockport County with his Father. The defence was also strengthened with Chisnall making his debut. United finished a poor 15th in the league and eliminated from the FA cup in the semi final losing 1-3 to Spurs.

Due to United's poor form attendances again suffered a crowd of 57,000 watched the Spurs game and 56,000 the derby against Manchester City. David Herd became topscorer for United, scoring 14 goals in his first season.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1962 - 1963: Law and Crerand arrive

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:31 am

1962 saw the recruiting of two new players who were to have a huge impact on United. Denis Law signed from Torino for 116,000 pond at the start of the season, Eric Cantona may be the `young pretender' but Denis is still the King. Denis was the penultimate piece in Matt's team-jigsaw.

The arrival of Denis brought not just a great footballer but a showman and entertainer; he drew crowds all over the country. He was quite magnificent in every way.

Pat Crerand moved from Glasgow Celtic the following February, he had a touch of silk. Immediately after Paddy arrived, the Lawman was transformed from brilliant to genius and that was because of Pat.

United ended up having a bad year, finishing 19th and just avoiding relegation. Their best league result was the 5-1 defeat of Notts Forest. Better results in the FA cup saw United reach the final.

An unforgettable game resulted in the underdogs, United beating the fancied Leicester City 3-1. Attendances in general were continuing to drop although United were attracting better gates away from Old Trafford. 69,000 squeezed into Goodison for the Everton game. Only 49,000 watched the Manchester City derby.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1963 - 1964: The masses return to Old Trafford

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:32 am

The cup success drew the crowds back to old Trafford. 63,000 fans watched United thrash Everton 5-1, Ipswich receiving a 7-2 drubbing. A 6-1 defeat at Burnley was revenged with a 5-1 victory two days later.

United's new players included Sadler, Anderson, the ineffective Moore from Chelsea and the magical George Best. John Connelly also joined United from Burnley. The trio of Charlton, Law and Best ('holy trinity') were to become household names and lay fear and wonder into the hearts of opposition teams everywhere.

The youth team won the FA Youth Cup again by beating Swindon Town 5-2 on aggregate.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1964 - 1965: The Championship returns to Old Trafford

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:32 am

United further strengthened the their team with Fitzpatrick, Aston, and Dunne. Success came to Old Trafford in the form of Uniteds first league championship since 1957.

The finish for the league title couldn't been closer as United pipped Leeds United on goal difference. A cup run to the semis was also achieved while a play-off defeat by Ferencvaros deprived United a place in the Fairs Cup final.

United's success resulted in an increase in attendances crowds around the 55,000 to 63,000 mark were a regular feature at Old Trafford.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1965 - 1966: Back in the European Cup

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:32 am

Ryan and Noble, who had promising futures cut short were United's new players this year.

The crowds were once again flocking to watch United. United came a reasonable 4th in the league and lost out to Everton in the FA cup semi final.

The Charity Shield was shared with Liverpool after a 2-2 draw. United's return in the premier European competition ends in a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Yugoslavia's Partizan Belgrade.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1966 - 1967: Champions again!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:32 am

Chelsea this helped to consolidate a position that had troubled United for a couple of years. The goal keeping duties had been shared by Gregg Gaskill and recently Dunne. Stepney now took the mantle of goalkeeper.

High points of the season included 5-0 against Sunderland, 6-1 against West Ham, results which helped United to the League Championship again. It was the seventh league title for United after finishing four points clear of Nottingham Forest.

A shock defeat to giant killers Norwich ended United's cup run in the 3rd round. In the League Cup they lost very disappointingly in the second round. More than 60,000 fans watched United on no less than eight occassions this year.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1967 - 1968: Champions of Europe!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:33 am

United's squad was strengthened further with the promotion of Burns, Gowling, Rimmer and Brian Kidd.

Attendance soared topping the 60,000 mark in the league alone 12 times.

On 29 May 1968, 100,000 mainly United fans witnessed the club's finest hour, the 4-1 defeat of Benfica in the European Cup final. United became the first English club to win the European Cup with a thrilling win over the Portugeuse champions at Wembley. Bobby Charlton gave United the lead only for Graca to equalise and send the game into extra time.

George Best then restored United's lead with a fine individual goal and as Benfica collapsed, goals from Charlotn and a header by Brian Kidd, celebrating his nineteenth birthday, sealed a famous victory.

This was United's finest hour and the realisation Matt Busby's dream. Matt Busby received a knighthood from the Queen in recognition of his services to football.

The Charity Shield was shared again after a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. The 2nd position in the league, after Manchester City, paled to nothing when United triumphed at Wembley. United lost 10 of their 42 league games and scored 89 goals, giving them a goal average of +34.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1968 - 1969: Sir Matt steps down

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:33 am

Morgan, Sartori and James were United's recruits this year although playing attractive football and attracting the crowds United seemed to wane after their triumph over Benfica. They finished a poor 11th in the league and lost in the 6th round of the cup to Everton.

Any hopes of retaining the European crown were shattered by AC Milan who triumphed 2-1 on aggregate in the semi final. United also lost the World Cup Championship in a bitterly contested two-logged affair. Estudiantes of Argentina triumphed 2-1 on aggregate. Sir Matt Busby decided to give up control of the team and became general manager. Wilf McGuinness took charge of the team.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1969 - 1970: Wilf McGuinness takes over at Old Trafford

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:33 am

1969 saw Wilf McGuinness promoted to manager on Matt Busbys retirement. Ian Ure joined the team in a stop gap measure to strengthen the defence.

A chaotic year ended any chance United had of success. Best, although leading goal scorer was on his worse behaviour. Charlton and other senior team members would not accept the authority of McGuinness. United finished a poor 8th in the leaguei.

There was more semi final disappointment as United lost 1-0 to Leeds United after two replays, they also lost 4-3 on aggragate to Manchester City in the League Cup semi final. McGuinness eventually was relieved of his position in December 1970 when Matt Busby once again took control at Old Trafford.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1970 - 1971: Sir Matt returns

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:33 am

Matt Busby followed Wilf McGuiness as manager. The greatest manager of Manchester United took charge again and all the fans hoped that he would make a new super team and bring them silverware again.
But Matt Busby couldn't bring a return to the old glory days as United finished only 8th in the league, with 16 wins, 11 draws and 15 defeats out of 42 matches.

In 42 matches United managed to only score 66 goals. In the FA Cup United were defeated in the third round and in the League Cup they reached the semi final before being knocked out.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1971 - 1972: O'Farrell steps into Sir Matt's shoes

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:34 am

Matt Busby resigned as manager, joining the board of directors. The next manager was Frank O'Farrell. But under O'Farrell United had another poor season. They finished 8th again in League, with 19 wins out of 42 matches, scoring almost the same amount of goals as the previous season, only 69 in 42 matches.

In the FA Cup they reached the sixth round, but were eliminated by Stoke City. In the League Cup, United reached the fourth round but again Stoke City were the stronger team. O'Farrell signed Martin Buchan from Aberdeen and Ian Storey-Moore from Nottingham Forest for £200,000.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1972 - 1973: Tommy Docherty takes over

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:34 am

This was yet another gloomy season for United, they started the season poorly and in December Frank O'Farrell was dismissed in favour of Tommy Docherty. Docherty was a man who was media friendly and spoke the same language as the fans on the terraces. He kept a poor team in the first division in his first season by buying a lot of new players.

New arrivals included Ted MacDougall from Bournemouth, Wyn Davies from Manchester City, Alex Forsyth from Patrick Thistle, Jim Holton from Shrewsbury Town, George Graham from Arsenal and Lou Macari from Celtic. MacDougall however moved to West Ham United after just six months at the club.

At the beginning of the season both George Best and Bobby Charlton announced their retirements whilst Denis Law rejoined Manchester City. United finished a disappointing 18th place in the league with only 12 wins and 48 goals scored in 42 matches. In the FA Cup as well as the League Cup United reached the third round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1973 - 1974: Relegation!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:34 am

What had threatened a season earlier eventually happened this season, United were relegated. For the first time in almost forty years United returned to division two. But the relegation proved beneficial in the long run, as it gave them the time needed to rebuild a new team.

Docherty bought Paddy Roche from Shelbourne, Stewart Houston from Brentford and Jim McCalling from Wolverhampton Wanderers. The worst thing for the United supporters was that it was Denis Law for Manchester City who backheeled United into the lower division. 10,000 fans invaded the pitch with seven minutes remaining, hoping to get the match abandoned, but it didn't help. United was relegated and instead of meeting Liverpool, Leeds, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea among others, they now had to visit Oldham, York, Millwall, Bristol and Blackpool. United finished 21st with only ten wins and 38 goals scored.

In the League Cup United reached only the second round and their FA Cup campaign ended in the fourth round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1974 - 1975: Roaring back into Division 1

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:34 am

United roared back in style after just one season in Division Two. They became the Champions with sixty one points and only seven defeats, but also only 66 goals scored in 42 matches. Docherty continued his rebuilding as he bought Stuart Pearson from Hull City and Steve Coppell from Tranmere Rovers.

In the League Cup United lost in the semi-final, but that didn't matter, as in the fourth round they had beaten Manchester City, always a bonus in those days. In the FA Cup they failed to progress beyond the third round.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1975 - 1976: United back where they belong

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:35 am

In their first season back in the top flight United finished third behind the dominant Liverpool. They lost 9 times and scored 68 goals and were back where they belonged, at the top of the table in division one.

Gordon Hill moved to Old Trafford from Millwall. In the League Cup United lost in the fourth round. But in the FA Cup United reached the final where they met Southampton from the second division.

Everybody in the country was convinced that this would be United's fourth FA Cup, but it turned out to be a massive upset. Southampton stunned United with a 1-0 win at Wembley.

United would have to wait another year for their first trophy since winning the European Cup in 1968.

User avatar
United Lounge
Reserve
Reserve
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:29 pm

1976 - 1977: FA Cup glory, Doc dismissed!

Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:35 am

This season United returned to Wembley and now they had to beat Liverpool to win the cup. United ended Liverpool's hopes of the treble (Championship, League Cup and FA Cup) by winning the FA Cup final 2-1.

Pearson scored the opening goal for United and the second was a lucky strike from Jimmy Greenhoff, who signed for United at the start of the season from Stoke City.

A month later, Docherty was sacked after it came to light that he was having an affair with the wife of the club's physiotherapist. United played some great football under the Doc and he brought Buchan, Hill, Coppell and other class players to United. Dave Sexton replaced him, but Sexton's era will not be remembered very fondly by most Reds as he failed to bring a trophy to Old Trafford.

In the UEFA Cup United were knocked out in the second round by Juventus, the Italians giants winning 3-1 on aggregate ending United's European ambitions. The club's record transfer fee received was equalled when Gerry Daly moved to Derby County in April for £170,000.

Return to “Record, Honours and History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users