Manchester United Page - 2           (Click on each thumbnail for a larger picture)

Several days elapsed between the crash and the next match played by Manchester United. During that time the assistant manager, Jimmy Murphy, had to try and put together a team which could compete in the First Division. He was supported by several clubs, notably Aston Villa and Bishop Auckland who allowed players to join United immediately. However for the first game no team was printed in the programme. These two pictures are of the front cover of the programme, which carried the inspirational words of the Chairman, Harold Hardman and the centre pages, the 'team sheet'.

Bobby Charlton is one of the greatest players of all time and also one of the luckiest. He survived the crash, the crash which took the lives of so many of his friends and team mates. He recovered very quickly and was playing once again within a couple of weeks. Bobby had everything, he was a complete footballer. To watch him in full flow was as close as it gets to seeing absolute physical perfection.

Little Nobby was one of the kids who came into the team earlier than he might have expected as a result of the crash. Once he had obtained a place he never looked like he would surrender it. Little Nobby, six stone wet through and as blind as a bat went on to become one of the heros of the May '68 triumph at Wembley.

The 'KING'. Eric Cantona may be the 'young pretender' but Denis is still the King. Bought from Torino in 1962, 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.

When Denis arrived it appeared that we were the complete outfit, but this was not the case. We lacked that little touch of quality in midfield; Quixall was never quite good enough as far as I was concerned, and Giles too young. So Matt went 'home' and brought us Pat Crerand. The man had a touch of silk. Immediately Paddy arrived the Lawman was transformed, transformed from brilliant to genius, and that was because of Pat.

In 1964 my dad and myself saw a young boy in the youth team. My dad said "This kid can play a bit", 'this kid' was George Best and my dad was right, he could play a BIT!! I have only one criticism of George and it stems from total selfishness on my part, it is that he should have played longer. But while he was playing it was pure joy to watch. He was something very special.

This is the squad which won the First (now Premier) Championship in 1965. Included in this picture are the 'holy trinity' - Charlton, Law and Best. I sometimes sit and think about them and wonder how much they would cost today, given the silly prices which are charged for mediocre (at best) players. This squad would be more than a match for ANY squad in the Premiership.

Sir Matt Busby was the greatest manager of all time. Now you don't have to take my word for it as no less a man than Bill Shankly said exactly the same thing. What sets Matt apart from all the others is the fact that he built three teams. Not only did he build those teams, all of which enjoyed fantastic success, but he did so under the shadow that was the Munich air crash. For a man to come through that ordeal and to return and start again shows a strength of character that is hard to describe.