Former Manchester United captain Bill Foulkes, who survived the 1958 Munich air crash, has died aged 81.
Only Sir Bobby Charlton, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have played more times for United than the Busby Babe, who made 688 appearances.
Sir Bobby Charlton said the defender was a "marvellous man" and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added "he will never be forgotten".
St Helens-born Foulkes played for United in their 1968 European Cup win. Foulkes was a key member of Sir Matt Busby's team of talented young players, who were nicknamed the Busby Babes. On 6 February 1958, the plane that was carrying the team back from Belgrade crashed in a blizzard after re-fuelling at Munich airport. Twenty-three people died - eight players, eight newspaper journalists and seven members of backroom staff.
Speaking about the disaster in 2008, Foulkes said he had been "put in a bad way" by the crash. "The back end came up and I saw it came up and down again and this meant all the stuff came out of the back and hit me in the back of the head." However, he managed to escape from the plane and ran to safety before returning to help the survivors. "I ran over to Matt and we put an overcoat underneath him and he just turned over, groaned and passed out," he said.
After the Munich tragedy, Foulkes took over the captaincy and became a pillar of some of United's most successful teams. Foulkes was a four-time league champion and a FA Cup winner. He also won the European Cup at Wembley with United, when the team beat Portuguese side Benfica 4-1 in 1968.
Capital One Cup third round. (Wednesday, 25 September. 7.45pm).
Under new manager David Moyes, United have made their worst start to a season in nine years. Admittedly they've had a tough fixture list, but the Scotsman will give everything to ensure his team emerge with victory.
Wayne Rooney says it's the "ideal game" for United at this juncture, but Liverpool's supporters would love nothing more than turning the screw on their bitter rivals. Manager Brendan Rodgers might just be more motivated by seeing Luis Suarez make a swift return to goal-scoring ways, while avoiding any unnecessary dramas.
"I have no doubt that, having been out, Luis will be even hungrier but his commitment and fight for the cause will still be the same," he said.
Remember: At Old Trafford, the Red Devils have won each of their last five matches with Liverpool in all competitions.
Manchester United 3 Manchester City 1
Young United fans lean through the fences with their scarves at the Stretford End at Old Trafford. (05/03/1977).
Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of Manchester United for the last time against West Brom, but Wayne Rooney missed Manchester United's final game of the season.
Final Score: Manchester United 5 West Bromwich Albion 5
Manchester United's Trophy Cabinet
Premier League (13) 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
First Division (7) 1907–08, 1910–11, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67
FA Cup: (11) 1908–09, 1947–48, 1962–63, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
League Cup: (4) 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10
FA Charity/Community Shield: (19) 1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965*, 1967*, 1977*, 1983, 1990*, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
European Cup / UEFA Champions League: (3) 1967–68, 1998–99, 2007–08
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: (1) 1990–91
European Super Cup: (1) 1991
Intercontinental Cup: (1) 1999
FIFA Club World Cup: (1) 2008
Alex Ferguson lifts the Premier League trophy on his Old Trafford farewell after seeing his Manchester United side win 2-1 against Swansea in his last home game as manager
Alex Ferguson's emotional speech
"My retirement doesn't mean the end of my life with the club. I will be able to now enjoy watching them, rather than suffer with them. But if you think about the last-minute goals, the comebacks, even the defeats, are all about this great club of ours. It's been an unbelievable experience for all of us. So thank you for that."
"You the fans have always stood by me and your job now is to stand by our new manager."
"I want to pay tribute to Paul Scholes who retires today. He is an unbelievable player, one of the greatest players this club will ever have."
"I have been able to manage some of the greatest players in the country. All of these players today have represented the club in the proper way. They have won the championship in fantastic fashion. Well done to the players. I wish the players every success for the future. You know how good you are, the jersey you are wearing, and all the people here. Don't let yourselves down."
After leaving the pitch Alex Ferguson said, "I was bubbling there for a bit. All those flags, the atmosphere today was unbelievable the whole game. I'm proud of my fans today."
Alex Ferguson and Manchester United were determined to win the title back, having lost it so dramatically to Manchester City in the final seconds of the 2011-12 season.
Watch Manchester United's amazing Champions winning season below.
Manchester United Official 20 x Champions 2013 Red T-Shirt Football Gift
The Man - The Legend.
Sir Matt Busby closed his reign at Old Trafford when he was 62. Bill Shankly left Liverpool at the age of 60. Bob Paisley lasted at Anfield until he was 64. Brian Clough was 58 when he left. Alex Ferguson is 71, with a pacemaker in his chest and a hip replacement coming soon, yet we are still shocked at him leaving the great game.
With a total of 49 trophies collected over the years, Sir Alex Ferguson has a managerial record that will never be surpassed.
Scottish Premier Division (3): 1979-80, 1983-84, 1984-85.
Scottish Cup (4): 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86.
Scottish League Cup (1): 1985-86.
European Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1982-83.
European Super Cup (1): 1983.
Premier League (13): 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13.
FA Cup (5): 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04.
League Cup (4): 1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10.
Charity/Community Shield (10): 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011.
Champions League (2): 1998-99, 2007-08.
European Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1990-91.
European Super Cup (1): 1991.
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999.
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008.
What is Alex Ferguson's lasting legacy?
Please share your memories, your stories and feelings about the great man and his time in football.
Alex Ferguson says he will select a strong Manchester United side against Arsenal on Sunday out of respect for the other sides chasing Champions League places.
He also praises Arsene Wenger for planning to uphold the tradition of forming a guard of honour to welcome the champions onto the pitch.
United have clinched the title with four games to spare but have other goals in mind, including beating Chelsea's 2004/05 record points total of 95.
Ferguson believes Robin van Persie will not be intimidated if he gets a hostile reception when he makes his first return to Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger insists he has no regrets about selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United, yeah right!!
Robin van Persie has admitted his wonder volley at Old Trafford on Monday night was his best goal for Manchester United.
Alex Ferguson believes the sublime effort, as Van Persie manoeuvred himself on to the end of a 50-yard pass from Wayne Rooney before rocketing a first time shot past Brad Guzan deserves to get the goal-of-the-season prize.
Own a piece of sporting history - Robin van Persie Hand Signed Manchester United Shirt
Manchester United won the Premier League title in style on Monday night with a hat-trick from star striker Robin van Persie sealing a 3-0 win and a 20th championship.
Just like the Busby Babes in days gone by, We'll keep the red flags flying high, Your gonna see us all from far and wide, Your gonna hear the masses sing with pride.
United, Man united, We're the boys in red and we're on our way to Wembley!
Manchester United sit 13 points clear at the top of the table, bookmakers have paid out on them regaining their crown and victory tonight against Aston Villa will see them officially take the title - but Alex Ferguson has something more to play for tonight, and for the rest of the season.
With five games of the season left, United have 81 points and need 15 more to break the record of 95 which was set by Chelsea in 2004/05. A strong finish to the season will also see them pass their own Premier League era record of 92.
"If we get to 96 points I'd be absolutely delighted," said the Manchester United manager. "That would be a fantastic season."
Come on UNITED!!!
Alex Ferguson has it on his mind. This is what he said yesterday:
"The way to look at it is that we've got great games coming up. It will be really exciting going to Madrid and having them here. There's the FA Cup tie at home to Fulham. It's a brilliant period for the club. This is exactly the situation you want to be in, involved in everything. FA Cup, league, European Cup. Absolutely brilliant. And we've got the squad to do it. If you go back to the year we won the treble we got a replay against Chelsea and won there 2-0. We got a replay against Arsenal. The FA Cup's the FA Cup. You expect the unexpected, but you also want to win it because its a great competition."
Patrice Evra also believes that Manchester United are good enough to win the Premier League, Champions League and the FA Cup this season.
"I'm really confident this year, because we've won against City, we've won against Chelsea, we've won against Arsenal, now we've beaten Liverpool twice. For our confidence, you couldn't get much better."
Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1. Old Trafford, Sunday Jan 13th, 2013.
Entertaining game, if of slightly lower quality than you'd hope for a Manchester United v Liverpool game. United were in charge of the first half but a Sturridge-led Liverpool were massively improved after the break. Let us collectively take our hats off for Brendand Rodgers for sorting his side out at half time. Let us also take off our hats for United hanging on to a precarious lead. And for their strikers, RVP and Welbeck, who were both great.
"I still have a great feeling of friendship and love for them, they are a team that have done a lot for my career. The fans know me well and I have a lot of friends there that I keep close to my heart. But now I'm defending Real Madrid's colours. It's a bit of a sad feeling I guess. But I want to score, and for us to win, and that would make everything better."