This Day in History: 2022-10-14

Nr. 322

English Club Makes European Cup Debut (1956)

After winning the League Championship in 1956 Manchester United manager Matt Busby was determined to enter the fledging European Cup. He wanted a new challenge for his side, known as the Busby Babes as eight were home-grown and had an average age of just 22, and accepted UEFA’s invitation to play in the second season of the competition. «This is where the future of the game lies,» proclaimed Busby. The Football League forbade Busby from entering, but with the support of Stanley Rous at the Football Association he ignored them. United won their opening tie 12-0 on aggregate against Anderlecht and reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Real Madrid.
English football’s European pioneers, Manchester United pose for a picture before boarding their plane to Madrid for the semi-final.