On This Day – Busby Babes Play Last Game on British Soil

1-2-1958: On this day in 1958 The Busby Babes played their last game on British soil before the tragedy at Munich. United traveled to Highbury to meet Arsenal. Eamon Dunphy describes the game in his biography of Matt Busby ‘A Strange Kind of Glory’.

First Bolton were beaten 7-2 at Old Trafford on 18 January, Bobby Charlton scoring three of the goals, and then on 1 February 63,000 packed Highbury to see the ‘Red Devils’ play Arsenal. United took a 3-0 lead, lost it in the second-half, scored two more to which Arsenal once again replied. The final score was 5-4, the match a classic, Busby’s team living up to its reputation for brilliance and a daring that bordered on recklessness.

The style was pure Busby, pure Manchester: Roger Byrne and Duncan Edwards, clinical, powerful, ruthless; Eddie Colman, daring, expansive; Denis Viollet, smooth, elusive, clever; Tommy Taylor and Mark Jones, as tough and brave as the navvies on the Ship Canal.”

Tommy Taylor scored two, Charlton, Edwards and Viollet scored the other three.


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