'United will go on..." opened chairman Harold Hardman's message on the cover of United Review, just 13 days after the hell of Munich. The Reds welcomed Sheffield Wednesday to Old Trafford in the FA Cup fifth round, on an unforgettable evening...
The Background: With many first teamers killed or injured in Munich, caretaker manager Jimmy Murphy had to cobble together a side from reserve or youth team players, and he also took advantage of the FA's decision to relax its rule on fielding cup-tied players. Goalkeeper Harry Gregg and right-back Bill Foulkes lined up as the only players who had been aboard the ill-fated aircraft; Ian Greaves, Freddie Goodwin, Ronnie Cope, Colin Webster, Alex Dawson, Mark Pearson and Shay Brennan were promoted to the first team. The line-up was completed by Ernie Taylor, signed from Blackpool, and Stan Crowther, who started the day on Aston Villa's books, made the trip to Old Trafford with his manager Eric Houghton and was told to join United. Upon protesting that he didn't even have boots, Crowther was amazed when Houghton told him: "Don't worry, I've got your boots in my bag." He signed an hour before kick-off.
The Occasion: An attendance of 59,848 swelled Old Trafford on a freezing Wednesday evening. With many spectators openly weeping in a mass outpouring of grief