Mickey Thomas fires in a shot at Old Trafford for Manchester United.

Manchester United's signings from Welsh clubs

Daniel James has become the latest in a long line of Welsh-based players to sign for Manchester United, with many of the previous moves pre-dating the Second World War.

Indeed, according to our research, only four men have joined the club from across the Welsh border since 1952. Excluding schoolboys and loan deals, Regan Poole was the last man to do so, having arrived from Newport County in 2015.

The 20-year-old defender, who linked up with Newport again on loan last term, made one first-team appearance for the Reds – as a late substitute against Midtjylland in 2016.
Regan Poole applauds the Newport County fans after the Emirates FA Cup win over Middlesbrough.
Regan Poole enjoyed a successful loan spell with Newport County after rejoining his former club.

Prior to that, Mickey Thomas was bought from Wrexham in 1978. The winger helped the Racecourse Ground outfit win the Third Division title, which alerted bigger clubs, and was then snapped up by Dave Sexton for a fee of around £300,000.

Thomas had three full seasons at Old Trafford, making 110 appearances and scoring 15 goals, before switching to Everton in 1981, with full-back John Gidman moving in the opposite direction.

Reg Hunter signed for United from Colwyn Bay in 1956, making only one senior outing for the club against Aston Villa a couple of years later. Colin Webster arrived from Cardiff City in 1952 and scored 31 times in 79 appearances.

Webster won the Division One title with United in 1955/56 and only missed the Munich Air Disaster due to an illness that prevented him from making the trip to take on Red Star Belgrade. However, he did play in the first game after the terrible accident: a 3-0 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford. The forward also represented Jimmy Murphy’s Wales at the 1958 World Cup.

Tommy Bamford was an interesting acquisition from Wrexham in 1934, scoring the only goal of a 1-0 win on his debut against Newcastle United at St James' Park. The striker was a vital part of the team that won Division Two in 1935/36, after arriving alongside team-mate Billy Bryant.

Legendary Welsh striker Tommy Bamford helped United win Division Two.
Tommy Bamford scored the goals that helped fire United to the Division Two title in 1935/36.

The other captures we could find from Welsh clubs include Jack Warner, a half-back from Tonypandy, who came from Swansea Town in 1938 and made 116 appearances in the red shirt. Another raid on that club brought full-back Arthur Allman to United in 1919. The south Wales town was granted city status in 1969, which led to the team being renamed Swansea City.

UNITED'S SIGNINGS FROM WELSH CLUBS

Arthur Allman – Swansea Town (1919)
William Sarvis – Merthyr Town (1922)
Harry Thomas – Porth FC (1922)
Sidney Evans – Cardiff City (1923)
Ken MacDonald – Cardiff City (1923)
Danny Ferguson – Rhyl Athletic (1927)
George McLachlan – Cardiff City (1929)
Matt Robinson – Cardiff City (1931)
Tommy Bamford – Wrexham (1934)
Billy Bryant – Wrexham (1934)
Jack Warner – Swansea Town (1938)
Colin Webster – Cardiff City (1952)
Reg Hunter – Colwyn Bay (1956)
Mickey Thomas – Wrexham (1978)
Regan Poole - Newport County (2015)

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