For every European football club, they are someone whether the manager or owner or former player who had laid some foundation to the club so that the club have a sustained legacy. For Real Madrid, the earlier owner Santiago Bernabeu had said that Real Madrid must have the best player and win all the competition that they are part of. Barcelona FC former player and manager Johan Cyruff had made an enormous effort in the Barcelona youth team that led to the production of La Masia and some style of play among from the kids to the first team. Bill Shankly had laid the foundation for Liverpool on the “Boot Room” and style of play in the European competition. Another English team Manchester United have a sustained success under Sir Alex Ferguson but the real founding father and the man that had laid the foundation for Manchester United are Sir Matt Busby.
Before Sir Alex Ferguson become the longest serving manager for Manchester United where he had managed them for 26 years starting from 1986, Sir Matt Busby is the longest serving manager for them for 24 years starting from 1945 until 1969. Under Busby he managed United to become the first English team to enter the European Competition in 1956 defying the FA order, first English team to win the European Competition, putting the fate in the youth team, created an attacking trio that called as Holy Trinity, introducing George Best to the world and also rebuilt the team after Munich Disaster tragedy.
Ironically he is not a former player for Manchester United as during his playing day he had been a player for Liverpool and Manchester City. In 1945 Sir Matt Busby had been appointed as the manager of Manchester United and he was given full authorities on picking the team on match days and even choosing the players to be bought and sold without interference from the club directors and this is something that is unprecedented during that time although this is common now with some manager in a club. Originally his contract is only for 3 years but he had managed to get a 5 years deal as he had convinced the United management that 5 years will be enough for his style to be successful in United.
Just only in 2 years, United had won their first trophy since 1911 by winning the FA Cup in 1948 before winning the League in 1952. However, the team that had won the champion in 1952 beginning to show its age factor and Sir Matt Busby instead of buying big introduced several youth players in the team that leads the media to dubbed the youth player as Busby Babes. With the youth in his side United had won the league again in 1956 and Busby had shown his loyalty with United when he had been offered by Real Madrid but refused to take the offer as he had said the Manchester United is my heaven and stayed in United.
In 1956 after winning the league United had defied the FA order and entered the European competition and become the first English team to enter the European competition. In their first European competition with youth in his side they had performed excellently by winning 12-0 against Anderlecht in the first game via aggregate , knocking out Borussia Dortmund in the first round, overturning a 5-3 first leg loss to a 3-0 home win over Atletico Bilbao in the quarterfinal before being knocked out by eventual winner Real Madrid in the semi-final whom had Di Stefano in their team and Dennis Violet from United had become the top scorer in that year competition with 9 goals.
And in 1957 United had won the league but unable to win the double as they had been beaten by Aston Villa in 1957 FA Cup final. In the following season, United is determined to win the treble of League, FA Cup, and European Cup, however, disaster struck in 1958. After knocking Red Star Belgrade in 1958 quarterfinal, their plane that they had travelled had been crashed on the runway of Munich – Reim airport and many of his talented player had lost their lives like Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, Tommy Taylor, Billy Whelan and much more. The survivor of the crash is Sir Bobby Charlton, Tommy Foulkes, and Sir Matt Busby and due to this, they had lost half of their team. From seeking to win the treble now they are lost half of the team.
UEFA in recognition of this had invited United to compete in 1959 European Cup even though they not had qualified but United and Sir Matt Busby had refused as they do not wish to build a campaign via this tragedy. Another rebuilding needs to happen and Sir Matt Busby did not sway from his duties and rebuilt another team with survivor Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes and adding players like David Herd, Albert Quixall, Dennis Law and a player that will become the legend in Manchester United and started the tradition of number 7 George Best.
After 5 long years of rebuilding United had won their first trophy since the Munich disaster as they had won the 1963 FA Cup and 2 years later had won the league in 1965. With the attacking trio of Bobby Charlton, George Best and Dennis Law that been called as Holy Trinity United is expected to make an impact in European competition after 7 years of absence in the following season. Their performance in the quarter-final against Benfica is the highlight of their campaign. After winning 3-2 in the first leg at Old Trafford, United with George Best in spectacular form had thrashed Benfica 5-1 in Lisbon to knock them out of the competition. The performance of Best in the second leg was still immortalized by United fans as one the best performance by a United player in the away game. But they unable to capitalized on this performance as they had been beaten Partizan Belgrade in the semi-final.
After winning the league in 1967, United is again in the European competition the following season after missed out 1966-1967 season. Again they had reached the semi-final and this time, the opponent is Real Madrid and they had started the first leg by winning the 1-0 at Old Trafford but things looking to be the same again in the second leg as Real Madrid had taken a 3-1 in the first half. United looked to be knocked out again in the semi-final but 2 late goals from David Sadler and Bill Foulkes as made the scoreline 3-3 and United had progressed to the final for the first time after been knocked out in the semi-final on 3 occasions. With the final in Wembley stadium and it also marked the 10th years of the Munich disaster, the trophy looks to be destined for United. In the final against Benfica they had won 4-1 and had become the first English team to win the European competition. In the following season where it will be Sir Matt Busby last season, United did not win the league and the FA Cup and the only trophy that they can win is European Cup and as the defending champion they again had managed to be in the semi-final against AC Milan and winning the first leg 1-0 at Old Trafford but unfortunately in the second leg they had been beaten 4-1 by AC Milan. Busby had retired without a trophy in the final year.
In 1994 , Sir Matt Busby had passed away due to cancer but his legacy is still lived on for United fans and players. His loyalty to United, faith in the youth team, rebuilding the team after their greatest tragedy, built a team to entertain and winning trophies and making them a force in the European competition is a legacy that had been a standard for the United manager in the future and in the present. His name, his team performance, his players, his loyalties to the club and his success even in the tough time is legendary and will be immortalized forever by the United fans.