the players prepared for games, for example. Now if we’re playing in a big game like a Champions League semi-final, we’ll watch videos and know everything about the opposition. Everything. Then I think Sir Matt would go on one scouting mission and that would be it. The Babes couldn’t see videos of the players they were up against and the system they used. Once Sir Matt went to watch Real Madrid and when he came back, his players asked him what they were like. He didn’t want to tell them because Real Madrid were that good! It was great to hear stories like that from Sir Bobby. His talk was a real insight into how football has changed and how good that team was.
It must be difficult to appreciate how good the Babes were, when you can only watch a few minutes of footage from the era…
It is difficult. The first thing that struck me was how big Duncan Edwards was, he was massive! Sir Bobby played with Denis Law and George Best but he still regards Duncan as the greatest he played with. He must have been some player, equally at home playing centre-half or centre-forward.
What was the general response from the squad after your meeting on Munich?
It was quiet. At the end, Sir Bobby asked if there were any questions but nobody spoke up. I think the players were still in awe of Sir Bobby talking and still affected by the DVD. I’m sure everyone had a question though and if one person had asked theirs, then everyone else would have done the same. A lot of the players didn’t know beforehand what they were coming in for, they didn’t know a lot about it. After all, some of the players who’ve joined us are from different countries and are still young at 19 or 20. It was interesting to see the effect it had on them. Everyone was moved.
How important is it for everyone – players and supporters – to know what happened at Munich and the story of how the club recovered?
I think it’s very important, to know how the Busby Babes played and how successful they were before the air disaster and to know how Sir Matt built another great team. There are so many things that are relevant to us today and we need to carry on their legacy. For example, fans want to see young players coming through and doing well