George Best was the British game's first superstar, and he features in the second part of our look at United's 50 most heroic moments from the last half a century...
11. Foulkes’ finest hour: Real Madrid, 15 May 1968
Was there ever a more unlikely goal-scoring hero than battle-hardened defender Bill Foulkes? More than a decade after tasting defeat in the Bernabéu in our first European Cup semi-final, Foulkes found himself back in Madrid, again staring up a mountain as Real built a 3-2 aggregate lead. David Sadler levelled matters with 19 minutes remaining, and a replay in Lisbon loomed. Just six minutes later, as George Best pulled a ball back across the hosts’ penalty area, there was Foulkes, “the last man any of us wanted to see there” according to Sir Bobby Charlton, to calmly sidefoot home a tie-tipping goal – one of only nine in 688 appearances. Foulkes recalled: “Matt asked me what on earth I had been doing in their penalty area, and I could offer no rational explanation.” Being 10 years after Munich, divine intervention wasn’t far from the mind…
12. Robson eclipses Maradona and dumps out Barcelona, 21 March 1984
You have a two-goal first leg deficit to overturn in Europe. You’re at home, but you’re playing Barcelona. And Diego Maradona. Tall order… unless your name’s Bryan Robson. Herculean efforts were run-of-the-mill for Captain Marvel, but this 1983/84 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarterfinal clash was something else. Maradona was outshone by Robbo, whose goals either side of half-time broke Catalan resolve. Frank Stapleton applied the coup de grace on one of the legendary Old Trafford nights.