"I have untold affection for Bill Foulkes. We went through so much together."
- Sir Bobby Charlton
"I owe so much to Bill. Without him my career might have panned out differently."
- Nobby Stiles
Quotes from Inside United in December 2012.
With the aggregate score at 3-3 after a United fightback, George Best danced down the right touchline and pulled the ball across the box. Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd, maybe Johnny Aston might have been on the end of it, but it was Bill, who rarely left his own half, who astounded his team-mates by surging forward to slot home with a clinical efficiency that even the absent Denis Law could not have bettered.
Still more climactically, in the final against Benfica at Wembley, the indomitable 36-year-old gave one of his most combatively effective displays, subduing the towering Portuguese target man Jose Torres, whose complaints to the referee about the calf lacerations inflicted by Bill as he repeatedly climbed above him fell on deaf ears. True, Torres escaped for one fleeting moment, in which he set up Benfica's late equaliser, but it was the heroic Foulkes who prevailed, United running out 4-1 victors after extra time.
Thereafter, Bill made only a handful more senior appearances, fundamentally helping out when younger men earmarked to replace him had been found wanting, before concentrating on coaching, first at Old Trafford, and then successfully in the United States, Norway and Japan.
Bill Foulkes, a devoted family man not enamoured of hectic socialising, was never dripping in stardust; but he was a loyal, supremely dedicated, vastly proficient professional - and he was a winner.
This feature first appeared in Inside United, the club's official magazine.