STADIUM CENTENARY

"The game I remember most is the second leg of the 1969 European Cup semi-final against AC Milan. I get a shiver up my spine and a lump in my throat, just thinking about the noise. It was mass hysteria."

- Cliff Butler, Club Statistician

17/01/2010 23:18, Report by Steve Bartram

Judge's profile: Cliff Butler

Cliff Butler is United's club statistician, and has been following the Reds home and away for over 50 years.



Having worked at the club since the early 1970s, he has occupied various roles throughout different departments. Formerly museum curator, club photographer and editor of United Review, Cliff has scarcely missed a United home match in 50 years.

He has sampled all emotions at Old Trafford, but it's a marginal failure to reach a final that sticks in his mind as the outstanding moment of his years watching the Reds on home soil.

"The game I remember most was the second leg of the European Cup semi-final against AC Milan in 1969," he says. "We were the reigning champions of Europe and we'd lost the first leg 2-0. The noise and the atmosphere that night will live with me forever. Whenever I talk about it, I always get a shiver up my spine and a lump in my throat, just thinking about that noise. The best way of describing it was mass hysteria.

"Bobby Charlton scored with 20 minutes to go and from then on it was just an incredible wall of noise. The crowd picked United up and threw them at Milan, it was staggering. It was really dramatic and it made the previous year's tie against Real Madrid look almost pedestrian. Both finished 1-0, but sadly 1-0 against Milan wasn't enough to go through."

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