More than half a century ago, 18-year-old Alex Dawson hit a hat-trick against Fulham to take the Reds to Wembley. Even now the Scot retains vivid memories of that feat...
"Fate smiled on me in the sense that I could have been on the ill-fated trip that took the team to Munich. I’d been on previous trips and Mark Pearson and I both had our passports ready.
"We’d played that afternoon – I think against Wolves – in the Central League and we were waiting for word to see who was going. Of course, it wasn’t to be. Matt Busby took Geoff Bent because there was a doubt over Roger Byrne and Geoff went as cover. It was so sad how it turned out in the end, absolutely tragic, and the FA Cup run we embarked upon that year became a tribute to everyone who perished in Munich.
"People were talking like United were finished after the crash, but we had some really good youngsters coming through, and being written off gave us real fire in the guts. We said: ‘Right, we’ll go out there and show everyone,’ and of course Jimmy Murphy gave us his inspirational team-talks. He was a wonderful character, Jimmy, and he had so much time for the young lads because he had a lot to do with us.
"In our first game with Fulham, Bobby Charlton scored twice in a 2-2 draw, and I was put on the right wing. I was a centre-forward really and when we played the replay at Highbury four days later, I was back in my normal position. Jimmy said before the game: ‘I fancy you this afternoon, big man. I fancy you to put about three in.’ I just said: ‘You know me Jim, I’ll do my best,’ but I couldn’t believe it when it happened.
"I must say, it wasn’t the best of goalkeepers we were up against that day. He had a bit of a bad time of it, did young Tony Macedo. It was a muddy pitch and a wet, heavy ball, as of course they were in those days, but he just allowed one of