Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sir Matthew Busby KBE, CBE (Orbiston, Lanarkshire May 26 1909 - January 20 1994) was a football player and manager, most noted for his spell managing Manchester United F.C. during the 1950s and 1960s.
Born in 1909 in a two-roomed pitmanís cottage in the Lanarkshire mining village of Orbiston, the young Matthew Busby was no stranger to loss. His father and all his uncles were killed in the World War I and times were hard. What Busby had, though, was an ability to play football.
As a player, Busby enjoyed spells at Manchester City F.C 1929-1936 (where he won an FA Cup Winner's medal in 1934) and Liverpool F.C. 1936-1940. He also played at international level for Scotland once, but like so many of his contemporaries, Busby's playing-career was cut short by the World War II.
After Peace was declared in 1945, and with his playing days over at the age of 36, Matt Busby was offered a job on the coaching-staff at Anfield but chose instead to take the manager's post at Manchester United in October 1945. His team were runners up in the league in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1952 before winning the championship in 1952. During this time, the team picked up the affectionate nickname the Busby Babes, due to the youthfulness of some of his signings, and included players such as Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards. They won the league in both 1956 and 1957 and were beaten FA Cup finalists in 1957.
In 1958, tragedy struck the Busby Babes as the Munich air disaster took the lives of eight members of the team. Busby himself was severely injured and was twice given his last rites. Busby had been appointed as manager of Scotland in January 1958 for the World Cup that summer in Sweden, but Trainer Dawson Walker was left in charge of the players due to the tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster. Busby did take charge of the team for two games later that year against Wales and Northern Ireland, giving Denis Law his first cap.
In the 1960s, Busby rebuilt the Manchester United team, with famous players including Denis Law and George Best. The biggest success of his career came in 1968 when the team won the European Cup. He retired as manager in 1969, and remained at the club as a director until 1982.
He was mentioned in the Beatles song, "Dig It".
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