Legends: Raymond “Ray” Wood

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By Worried Turkey.

Raymond “Ray” Wood – 178 United appearances 3 England caps

Wood was among the survivors of the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958. He suffered minor injuries, but played just one first-team game afterwards, a 4-0 defeat against Wolverhampton in October of the 58/59 season. A year later Wood was sold to Huddersfield Town, I think he knew what was coming, when in December of 57 Manchester United signed Harry Gregg from Doncaster Rovers for £23,500 (a then world record fee for a goalkeeper). He played over 200 games for the Terriers (although Sir Matt unsuccessfully tried to resign Wood after an injury to Gregg) and seemed happier after leaving Man United.

After making his debut in 1949, Wood made 208 appearances for United. I don’t think he was the same after Munich, he seemed less positive or as assured. Wood was also unlucky, during the 1957 Cup Final he had his jaw broken after McParland barged into him. Woody was relatively small for a goalkeeper but he had shoulders that a few forwards would bounce off. He wasn’t the best keeper I’ve seen at Old Trafford but he was very far from the worst. He was reliable and strong but was prone to the odd mistake (and it was an odd one).

Ray would have been a permanent fixture in many teams and it was a pleasure to have seen him… He was a piece in a perfect jigsaw…

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