Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

United Are Back ; Stuart Mathieson Remembers How the Reds Responded to the Tragedy of Munich in 1965

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

United Are Back ; Stuart Mathieson Remembers How the Reds Responded to the Tragedy of Munich in 1965

Article excerpt

SIR Alex Ferguson has remarkably created many United titlewinning sides. But how do you build a new force when your previous one had been so tragically ripped apart? That was the emotional, painful and seemingly impossible task Matt Busby set himself after the 1958 Munich Air Disaster when his successful team was decimated.

But from the ashes of thst tragedy, eventually rose an equally thrilling Red phoenix that was to come to epitomise the swinging 60s.

From the awful circumstances in which the new-look United was formed, Busby's new generation became champions again in an astonishingly short space of time.

Eight years to craft a vibrant new side capable of being the best in England is a fantastic feat.

It was an erratic trajectory to get there. There was a dalliance with relegation in 1963 in a season when the Reds won their first post-Munich silverware with the FA Cup.

Then they shot to second in the table behind Liverpool just 12 months later.

The free-scoring Stretford End King Denis Law had been recruited from Torino to become United's new goal machine, Paddy Crerand had added craft and steel to the midfield and Nobby Stiles had become a hard but clever centreback to add to Bill Foulkes' grit. With Bobby Charlton growing from babe to an experienced, established star and the arrival of John Connelly from Burnley, Busby had assembled a squad ready to go that extra step and win the league crown.

Oh, and there was a whippetquick, footballing genius by the name of George Best who helped set United apart.

The Belfast boy had been introduced in the 1963-64 season and he took the English game by storm.

Seventeen matches in his debut term turned into 41 in his second.

Busby had managed to find every ingredient necessary for a title- winning side to throw into his new mix.

Massive As well as the Holy Trinity of Best, Law and Charlton, there were some vital foot-soldiers who played massive parts in securing the club's sixth title. …

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