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Portugal POR

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Busby's re-built team of Euro history makers

 

Matt Busby built his European Cup winning side around Munich survivors Harry Gregg, Bill Foulkes and Bobby Charlton. Photo: Allsport Hulton/Archive
Matt Busby built his European Cup winning side around Munich survivors Harry Gregg, Bill Foulkes and Bobby Charlton. Photo: Allsport Hulton/Archive

Colin Young

The Players...

1 Alex Stepney (75)

Born: Mitcham, Surrey

Joined from Chelsea for a record fee of £55,000 in 1966, just three months after Chelsea boss Tommy Docherty had signed him from Millwall. Was the long-term replacement for Harry Gregg after he was forced to retire through injury and played 433 games, scoring two goals. Only one England cap. Still a regular on the after-dinner circuit.

2 Shay Brennan

Born: Manchester

Benfica's Goalkeeper Jose Henrique (left) races back to his goal in a vain attempt to stop George Best (right) of Manchester United from scoring his team's second goal in the the European Cup final at Wembley, 29th May 1968. Photo: Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images
Benfica's Goalkeeper Jose Henrique (left) races back to his goal in a vain attempt to stop George Best (right) of Manchester United from scoring his team's second goal in the the European Cup final at Wembley, 29th May 1968. Photo: Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images

Died: June 2000, aged 63

Signed after the Munich air disaster, the full-back scored twice in the first game afterwards. A regular for 23 years, he played 355 games for the club, retired in 1970 and was briefly Waterford United manager, winning two titles. He was the first player to qualify for Ireland through his parents and won 19 caps.

3 Tony Dunne (76)

Born: Dublin

Signed from Shelbourne in 1960, Dunne played 530 games, the club's seventh highest, and scored just two goals in his 13 years at left-back. He later played for Bolton and Detroit Express before owning a driving range in Altrincham. He played 33 times for Ireland.

4 Pat Crerand (79)

Born: Glasgow

The hard-tackling midfielder spent six years at Celtic before making his debut on the fifth anniversary of Munich. He played 304 games for United and 16 for Scotland before joining the Old Trafford coaching staff in 1972 when he was assistant manager under Docherty. He left in 1976 and was briefly Northampton Town manager before starting a media career. He is now a regular on MUTV.

5 Bill Foulkes (81)

Born: St Helens

Discovered at 18 playing for Whiston Boys Club, Foulkes joined the club in 1950 and worked part-time as a miner until he made his England debut four years later. He was a member of the title-winning team in 1956 and a year later, among the survivors from the crash in Munich. Unscathed, Foulkes took over the club captaincy, but struggled for form due to anguish caused by the disaster. Busby played him at centre-back for the first time in October 1960 and he played there for the rest of his career, making 566 appearances for United. He won one England cap and managed non-league Witney United and seven clubs in USA, Norway and Japan until 1992.

6 Nobby Stiles (76)

Born: Manchester

One of the game's most unlikely footballers, the stocky, short-sighted, tenacious midfielder played 395 games for the club he joined at 15 and won 28 England caps and the 1966 World Cup. Sold to Middlesbrough in 1971, he played for Preston and managed Vancouver Whitecaps and West Brom but was sacked after just three wins in five months. Part of the Old Trafford youth set-up which worked with David Beckham, Ryan Giggs et al, he was a regular after-dinner speaker.

7 George Best

Born: Belfast

Died: November 2005, aged 59

Chief scout Joe Armstrong brought in Best on the recommendation of Belfast scout Bob Bishop whose telegram to Busby read: "I think I've found you a genius." The game's first celebrity, and one of United's greatest players, he was a tortured genius who unexpectedly quit Old Trafford in 1974 at the age of 27 after making 470 appearances and scoring 179 goals. He then played for 17 clubs across the globe for the next decade, enjoying his best spells with Fulham and the Los Angeles Aztecs, and played just 37 times for Northern Ireland. He died in 2005 after a long battle with alcoholism.

8 Brian Kidd (68)

Born: Manchester

Signed as a pro with United aged 16 and made his debut two years later, scoring on his 19th birthday in the final. After 52 goals in 203 league games, he left after relegation in 1974, joining Arsenal for £110,000. Kidd, who won two England caps, then had spells with Manchester City, Everton and Bolton before three years with Atlanta Chiefs, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Minnesota Strikers. Kidd has managed Preston North End and Blackburn but his most significant roles have been as assistant to Alex Ferguson, when United won their first Premier League title in 1993, and to Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola across the city. He remains on the Spaniard's coaching staff at Manchester City.

9 Bobby Charlton (80)

Born: Ashington

Turned down Newcastle and Sunderland, among others, to join United, making his debut in 1956. After surviving Munich, he returned to captain the team to the European Cup and until Wayne Rooney broke his record he was the club's record scorer on 249 goals. Ryan Giggs took his appearance record (758) in 2008. Charlton played in four World Cups for England, winning the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966. Unlike his brother Jack, he was not made for management and quit after an unsuccessful reign at Preston. Became a United director in 1984 and remains on the board.

10 David Sadler (72)

Born: Yalding, Kent

A utility player who played up front at Wembley, Sadler joined United from Maidstone in 1963 and scored 27 goals in more than 300 games over 11 years before joining Preston where he stayed until retiring in 1977. Won four England caps. He became a building society manager in Manchester and a regular among the Old Trafford corporate hospitality cast.

11 John Aston (70)

Born: Manchester

John Aston Snr, a former United player, was on the coaching staff when his son signed for the club in 1965. Man of the match against Benfica, the winger played 187 games for the club, scoring 27 goals. He left for Luton Town in 1972 and played 200 games before later playing for Mansfield Town and Blackburn Rovers. After retiring, Aston ran a pet shop in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester.

12 Jimmy Rimmer (70)

Born: Southport

The only substitute in 1968 was a reserve goalkeeper and indeed Rimmer spent 11 years as understudy to Stepney after joining the club as a schoolboy in 1963. He went on to have a successful career with Arsenal and Aston Villa, where he won his second European Cup, before finishing at Swansea City. He only played 46 games for United and once for England. Coached in China and Canada before returning to live in Swansea.

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