Reds to mark Babes’ feat
Manchester United will send an Academy XI to Nantwich Town on 25 September to mark the 60th anniversary of the teams’ meeting in the inaugural FA Youth Cup.
There is an interesting tale to the 1952 clash in which the Reds racked up a record 23-0 victory in the competition, en route to lifting the trophy in the first of a run of five successive triumphs. The players involved would go on to achieve national and international fame under the collective nickname of ‘the Busby Babes.’
After the tie was switched to United’s then training ground, The Cliff, under what was described as ‘primitive floodlighting’, the Reds outclassed the opposition and were three goals ahead after only six minutes. By half time, the scoreline had reached double figures but coach Jimmy Murphy instructed his side to keep hunting more goals in front of the 2,600 crowd.
Duncan Edwards, John Doherty and David Pegg each scored five times while Eddie Lewis helped himself to another four. Remarkably, under-siege keeper Brian Thorley still did well enough to impress Sir Matt Busby and earn a move to the Reds.
United’s Ronnie Cope, who went on to play for Nantwich late in his career, has been invited to be Guest of Honour for the match at the Weaver Stadium later this month. Admission is £9 for adults, £6 for concessions and £2 for children, with fans able to pay at the turnstiles on the night.
Frank Stubbs, who played for Nantwich in the original match, is also due to attend to see a line-up of United’s current batch of promising youngsters. The Reds have already won at the Weaver Stadium this season as Warren Joyce’s Under-21s defeated Stoke City there in the opening game of the campaign.
FA Youth Cup record
FA Youth Cup 2nd Round,
Tuesday 4 November, 1952
The Cliff, Broughton
MANCHESTER UNITED 23
(Pegg 5, Doherty 5, D.Edwards 5, E.Edwards og, Lewis 4, Morton 2, Scanlon)
United: Gordon Clayton; Bryce Fulton, Paddy Kennedy; Bobby Harrop, Ronnie Cope, Duncan Edwards; Alan Morton, John Doherty, Eddie Lewis, David Pegg, Albert Scanlon.