12-9-1956: No English club competed in the first European Cup in 1955-56 which was won by Real Madrid. In the second season Manchester United became the first English club to compete in Europe when they met the Belgian champions Anderlecht on this day in 1956. Manchester United won the match which was played in front of 35,000 spectators at the Park Astrid Stadium in Brussels 2-0 thanks to goals by Dennis Viollet and Tommy Taylor.
United’s team: Wood; Foulkes, Byrne; Colman, Jones, Blanchflower; Berry, Whelan, Taylor, Viollet, Pegg
The Busby Babes won the return match at Old Trafford on September 26, 1956 10-0! Manchester United beat German Borussia Dortmund in the next round and Athletic Bilbao in the Quarter-finals before they lost to the eventual winners Real Madrid 5-3 in the Semi-final.
- Tom Clares excellent account of the two matches against Anderlecht