Manchester United    Managers  

(1945-69, 1970-71)

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   Guest  since July 97

Honours:      FL Champions                1952, 1956, 1957, 1965, 
                      FACup Winner               1948, 1963
                      European Cup Winner   1968

The Flowers Of Manchester

When the Manchester United directors appointed Matt Busby manager in 1945 they made probably the most significant decision in the club's history. Like Ernest Mangnall before him, Busby brought glory to the club - and in Busby's case it was to find a stage wider than anyone could have imagined in magnall's days before World War One.

Busby, the son of a Scottish miner, was a stylish half-back with Manchester City and Liverpool before World War Two and althogh he won only one full cap for Scotland, he skippered his country in several wartime internationals.

Busby inherited a club with no home, for Old Trafford had been severely damaged in the war. His team played their home matches at Maine Road as he began to rebuild from the ashes. Busby moulded together his first great team under cptain Johnny Carey. They went on the win the FA Cup in 1948, in a Final of breathtaking skill and excitement, and with the addition of talented youth, lifted the Championship in 1952, the club's first league title for 41 years.

In their first six seasons under Busby, United never finished lower than fourth. At his side was Jimmy Murphy and they formed a partnership which could spot raw talent and then nurture it to greatness. Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor, Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton were just some of the players who stand testament to their joint skills.

Busby took United to consecutive League titles, in 1956 and 1957, and in the second of those years he came close to winning for the Reds the first modern 'double' of League and Cup. By then, his quest for the European Cup had started and by now United were on of the best club sides in the world.

The European dream was shattered at Munich where Busby suffered injuries so severe that he was administered the Last Rites. He also had to suffer the cruel knowledge that he had lost many of his young players. Busby was absent from his desk for six months.

With Jimmy Murphy, he began to assemble a new United. Law, Herd, Crerand, Cantwell and others were drafted in and United won the FA Cup again in 1963 - narrowly missing relegation the same season - and the League Championship in 1965.

A Championship two years later set the stage for another
attempt at the European Cup and this time Busby's dream
was realized.
United lifted the trophy with a magnificent
win over Benfica at Wembley and he and Bobby Charlton
shed tears of joy together.

The players had sensed it was Busby's last chance
to win the major European Club honour.

He made way for Wilf McGuinness, but retained the post of general manager. When McGuinness was relieved of his job in December 1970, Busby took charge once more, steering United away from trouble. He left the manager's chair in 1971, a quarter of a century after he was first appointed.

Sir Matt Busby - he was knighted in the wake of United's European triumph - maintained close links with the club and the city. He was made a Freeman of Manchester in 1967, appointed a United director and then the club's president.
He was elected a vice-president of the Football League in 1982 and is now a life member.

In 1945, he was offered jobs as a coach at Liverpool, assistant-manager of Reading, and manager of Ayr United. He turned them all down for a  £163,15  -per-week job as manager of Manchester United. Four years later, Spurs offered him  £163,50  a week to become their manager. Every United fan, young or old, can be eternally thankful that he turned them down. going for nearly 25 years with one man at the helm, Manchester United appointed their fourth manager in eight years when Dave Sexton accepted the job in 1977.


Sir Matt Poem by Ethan Fry <elf@ECI.COM>

Back in the days, when we were just another side,
and victory was just a daunting task
Sir Matt came to us, beaming with pride,
and gave us more than we could ask.
But on a snowy strip in Munich, many hearts were broken,
and we were reluctantly shot back in to the past.

Sir Matt, Sir Matt, you're a hero to us all,
You always knew what winning really meant;
Sir Matt, Sir Matt, you're a hero to us all,
Sorrow was the mood here when you went.

And on the Wembley ground, in 1968,
you raised the cup with great delight;
Just ten years prior, your hopes were dashed,
forced to realise the horrid, ultimate plight.

Sir Matt, Sir Matt, you're a hero to us all,
You'll always be a red to us and them;
Sir Matt, Sir Matt, you're a hero to us all,
We'll play in your defence, just tell us when.

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