On this day in history : 29th May 1968 – Manchester United win the European Cup Final….making them the first English club to do so….

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Image via Pinterest – fair use

Over 92,000 spectators packed Wembley Stadium on a highly charged emotional night to watch Manchester United play Benfica of Portugal – whilst another 250 million viewers watched on TV around the World….

It was the 13th season of the European Cup and came ten years after eight members of Manchester United’s team had been killed in the Munich air disaster of 1958….which also left Manager Matt Busby fighting for his life…. The crash had happened a day after the team had earned a place in the semi finals of the 1957-58 European Cup…. Two of the 1968 team, Bill Foulkes and Bobby Charlton, had survived the crash….

Portugal’s Benfica had won the Cup in 1962 and Celtic had lifted the trophy the previous season in 1967, making them the first British team to win the title…. But now it was Manchester United’s turn….

Because both teams had red as their colour Man United had opted to play in their blue away strip…. The first half remained goalless – but 8 minutes into the second half Captain Bobby Charlton headed a goal into the net…. However, 22 minutes later Benfica equalised….the score remained 1-1 until the end of normal time, forcing extra time…. Three minutes into extra time George Best scored….and a minute after that Brian Kidd, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, added a third goal…. Just to make sure it was a done deal Bobby Charlton scored his second goal of the match to make the final score 4-1….and he as Captain lifted the trophy….

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Image via Pinterest – fair use

A fortnight later George Best was named European Footballer of the Year…. Manager Matt Busby later received a Knighthood…. Bobby Charlton became Sir Bobby Charlton in 1994 – during his career he scored 49 goals for England….

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