Old Trafford pulses have regularly been set racing by the sight of a tricky winger tearing up the flanks. From Billy Meredith at the turn of the last century, through George Best, Gordon Hill, Ryan Giggs, through to the modern-day brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo, wide men have been staples of every great United side. And Johnny Berry stands comparison with the best.
Berry came to Matt Busby’s attention while playing against the Reds for Birmingham City. The two-footed winger had single-handedly destroyed United on one occasion, making him, in Busby’s eyes, the ideal replacement for Jimmy Delaney after he left in 1950.
Getting his man was not an easy task, though. Birmingham were reluctant to let their star performer depart and Busby was forced to wait 18 months before finally securing his services.
The wait was worth it. Berry, who as a youngster had been rejected by his home town team Aldershot as, ‘too small to make a footballer’, helped the Reds to the title in his first season, scoring six goals in 36 matches. Despite the title success United were soon in transition.
As a senior player Berry’s experience was invaluable to a team now seeing the first wave of Busby Babes. His