One of United’s few true stars between the wars, Joe Spence's scintillating wing play made "Give it to Joe" the most regularly aired terrace chant during his 14 years at Old Trafford.
Indeed, such was his importance to United, and Manchester, he was known locally as ‘Mr Soccer’.
Born in Throckley, Northumberland, the young Spence played for Blucher Juniors and Throckley Celtic. While with the former, he scored an astonishing 42 of the team’s 49 goals in his first season. At 13 he began work as a miner and was conscripted into the army at 17, where he served as a machine-gunner.
He guested for Liverpool,
Newburn and Scotswood during his years in service and won the Army Cup with his battalion. But in March 1919, the year after the First World War ended, Spence signed for United from north-east amateur side, Scotswood.
He wasted no time making an impact: scoring four in a 5-1 Lancashire Section drubbing of Bury at Old Trafford on his debut. His official debut came in August when the league programme resumed and he was a model of consistency after that, making 510 appearances and scoring 168 goals.
Sadly for Spence, he failed to win any major honours and it was not until he he left United in 1933 that he lifted any