Gaskell awarded historic league title medals

Monday 19 June 2023 18:30

Manchester United has today (Monday) awarded two league championship medals to former goalkeeper David Gaskell over half a century after they were won – marking the first of up to 18 former players due to receive missing medals.

Under English Football League rules at the time, Gaskell, now 82, did not qualify for medals for the 1964/65 and 1966/67 title-winning seasons, after falling short of the minimum 14 appearances then required. 

The EFL has since lowered its criteria so that all players with five or more appearances for league-winning teams are entitled to recognition – and these new rules have been applied retrospectively to historic championships.
In safe hands: David Gaskell shows us his medals.
Working closely with the EFL, Manchester United has identified 18 players who are entitled to retrospective medals, including Gaskell. 
The process of awarding these began on Monday at David’s home in Wrexham and will continue over the summer and into the new season, when former players or their surviving family members will receive the gongs in ceremonies at Old Trafford or their homes.

There to honour David’s contribution and present him with his medals were United legends Alex Stepney, who was a team-mate of Dave’s from 1966 to 1969, and Mickey Thomas, who joined Wrexham as an apprentice when Gaskell was a senior professional at the Welsh club.

Richard Arnold, Manchester United chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to have awarded these medals to David today in honour of his important contribution to two great title-winning teams, and we’re looking forward to presenting more in the coming weeks.

“It’s fantastic to see these players, who missed out on medals all those years ago, getting the recognition they deserve, and we appreciate the support of the EFL in making this possible.”

Alex Stepney, who made 539 appearances over 12 years at United, said: “It was a real privilege to be here with David when he received his medals. Any team that wins a title, especially in those days when we played 42 League matches, requires a strong squad.

"Players like David, who provided great cover for me during his later years at the club, were crucial to our success.”

David Gaskell played for United between 1956 and 1969.

Mickey Thomas added: “I owe David so much. He was a mentor to me at Wrexham, where I actually cleaned his boots as an apprentice. David provided me with the knowledge required to succeed in football. It means a lot to me to be here with him today and help present his medals.”

David Gaskell became the club’s youngest-ever player when he made his debut at the age of 16 years and 19 days in the 1956 Charity (now Community) Shield against Manchester City. He was also in goal for the 1963 FA Cup final win against Leicester City, and made a total of 119 first-team appearances during his 13 years at Old Trafford.

He went on to play for Wigan Athletic and Wrexham, before finishing his career in South Africa and Kuwait.

David Gaskell and Alex Stepney (both in green) as part of the 1966/67 team photo.
The medals to be awarded to the 18 eligible players or their surviving relatives span six title-winning campaigns between 1952 and 1975. Club officials have so far made contact with all but five of the 18 players or their families, and is seeking assistance to find the relatives of Frank Clempson, Maurice Setters, Tony Young and Ron Davies. Anyone with information regarding these players can contact the club via:

The other players eligible for medals are Harry McShane, Jack Crompton, Fred Goodwin, Albert Scanlon, Geoff Bent, Colin Webster, David Sadler, Shay Brennan, John Connelly, Jimmy Ryan, Jim Holton, Arnie Sidebottom and Mick Martin.