New 'Manchester Is My Heaven' banner unveiled

Tuesday 26 July 2022 11:38

A much-loved banner at Old Trafford has been given a new makeover ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The 'Manchester Is My Heaven' banner is stationed between the first and second tiers of the Stretford End, and refers to a quote attributed to our legendary former manager Sir Matt Busby.

The Scot was in charge in M16 for 24 years, from 1945 to 1969, and then returned for a short six-month spell in December 1970, following the departure of his successor, Wilf McGuinness.

But the words that are displayed on the banner stem from a conversation Busby had with former Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabeu in the 1950s.
The popular banner has been refreshed, so it looks its best for the season to come.
The story goes that Bernabeu was keen to poach Busby's services from United, due to the great work the Scot was producing in Manchester.

Real were indisputably the best club in the world at the time, boasting players like Alfredi di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas and Paco Gento, and dominated the early years of the European Cup.

But Sir Matt was also achieving incredible things, by building a viscerally exciting young team – known as 'the Busby Babes' – that swept to two consecutive First Division titles in 1955/56 and 1956/57.

And when Bernabeu gave Busby his sales pitch, the United boss gave a brief and fantastic reply.
Bernabeu said: "Leave Manchester for Madrid and I will give you a paradise." 
Sir Matt simply responded: "My heaven is in Manchester."

Or at least, that's how the story goes! But the line has become iconic among Reds, and can be seen on T-shirts, social media memes and beyond.
The banner now has a new skyline to reflect modern Manchester, with its many 21st-century skyscrapers, and will ensure Sir Matt's words are proudly on display for years to come. 

Have you seen the new Busby banner?


Saturday's 5-1 win over Leeds saw the first outing of a new flag that pays tribute to our legendary former manager.


The banner discussed above is far from the only one at Old Trafford. Indeed, Sir Matt has another reference at the opposite side of the ground, with a long effort across the Scoreboard End (East Stand) that reads: "It's glory and honour, the great man he said, there's nothing on earth like being a Red."

The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, meanwhile, displays a tribute to United's other legendary Scottish manager, which goes: "The Impossible Dream... Made Possible," while noting Sir Alex's 26 years in charge and images of the many trophies he won.

Former great players are also celebrated, including Sir Bobby Charlton and Paul Scholes.

Do you want to help design a banner for Old Trafford? All design ideas are fan-generated, and Stretford End Flags are inviting supporters to submit new ideas via their Facebook and Twitter pages.