Sadler receives medal from United

Thursday 03 August 2023 11:05

Former Manchester United star and member of the 1968 European Cup-winning team, David Sadler, is the latest player to be awarded a retrospective league championship medal – receiving it from the club at his home in Bowdon, Greater Manchester.

David, 77, played 272 times for the club in his 10-year career at Old Trafford, and has become the second of 19 players who will be honoured for their contribution to the club’s success following the medal presentation to David Gaskell in June.

Under English Football League rules at the time, Sadler did not qualify for a championship medal in the 1964/65 title-winning season, 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.

David Sadler finally gets his hand on the title winner's medal.

Sadler was known as a skilful and versatile defender who could play in any position across the pitch, and he did at Old Trafford, playing matches in defence, midfield and sometimes leading the attack for the Reds.

After leaving United, Sadler went to play for his former team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton in 1973 at Preston North End, before his career was sadly cut short by injury in 1977.

Commenting on receiving his medal, Sadler, who remains connected to the club as secretary of the Manchester United Former Players’ Association, said: “To say I was surprised after all this time to receive this medal would be putting it mildly.

"It has brought back many happy and exciting memories. Playing for Manchester United was the best time of my life, and it's a very nice feeling to be recognised all these years later.”

To complete the awarding of the historic medals, the remaining eligible players or their surviving relatives have been invited to Old Trafford for an on-pitch presentation during United’s Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest on 26 August.

The remaining medals span six title-winning campaigns between 1952 and 1975 and will be presented at Old Trafford to recognise the immense contributions of Harry McShane, Frank Clempson, Jack Crompton, Fred Goodwin, Albert Scanlon, Geoff Bent, Shay Brennan, John Connelly, Jimmy Ryan, Jim Holton, Arnie Sidebottom, Mick Martin, Willie Morgan and Maurice Setters.

Club officials have so far contacted all but four of the 19 players or their families and is seeking assistance to find the relatives of Tony Young, Ron Davies, and Colin Webster.