Kings of Europe: Key men share memories of 1968
Fifty years ago today, and ten years after the Munich Air Disaster, Sir Matt Busby's Manchester United team beat Portuguese champions Benfica 4-1 after extra-time at Wembley to win the European Cup. Here's what some of the men who were there have said about it since...
Sir Bobby Charlton: Without being disrespectful to the team, a lot of us were beginning to be past our peak and I knew a lot of us weren’t going to get another chance at this cup.
Nobby Stiles: There was ballyhoo about before about how I would mark Eusebio: people were suggesting I was a clogger. One paper said he had asked the ref for protection. But I respected Eusebio and never went out to kick him – and I always found him to be alright with me.
George Best: I was so looking forward to what I imagined would be 90 minutes of pure magic, us hammering them. But I only played well in snatches and it was tough going – we weren’t playing that well to start with, the tackles were coming in hard and it was still 0-0 at half-time.
Wembley Wonders Gallery
As we celebrate the birthday of Sir Matt Busby, twenty photos tell the tale of our first European Cup triumph.
Geoffrey Green, The Times: Few Wembley occasions equalled that night. Out of nothing drew a dramatic climax. The first-half was episodic, as a spate of ruthless Portuguese tackling and a symphony of Italian referee whistling broke the match into a thousand pieces, both teams clearly out of humour with each other. Yet this merely proved to be crucible. Out of the fire and cruelty came something to treasure.
Sir Bobby Charlton (on his first goal): I was only on a decoy run but David knocked it nicely and I was just trying to flick it on - it flew into the bottom corner! Lovely!
David Sadler: It was such an emotional night and we were feeling the pressure, but that goal set us on the way. Bobby could actually be quite a good header of the ball you know!