The Journey From 1 to 19 – Part Two

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By James Johnson.

Read the full journey: The Journey From 1 to 19

1955/56

Four years after the first title of the Busby era the title was back at Old Trafford in emphatic fashion.

Manchester United won the league by 11 points from nearest challengers Blackpool. With Tommy Taylor getting 25 league goals to himself and Dennis Viollet chipping in with a further 20 goals, it’s clear that attack was the aim of the game for United throughout the season.

The biggest win of the season occurred on Boxing day when Man United beat Charlton Athletic by five goals to one.

Home form was Uniteds greatest ally in 55/56, as the club remained unbeaten at Old Trafford for the entire season. Out of the 21 games the club played at home, they drew only three and scored over 50 goals.

The resulting league title meant United were eligible to take their first foray into European football.

1956/57

The 56/57 season saw the Busby Babes win their last piece of silverware together before the Munich disaster.

After fighting the English F.A’s protests surrounding the club’s participation in the European Cup, Matt Busby set out to become the first English club to win European footballs biggest prize. Sadly a semi final defeat to the mighty Real Madrid stopped that dream from becoming reality. For the time being at least. Along the way United managed to get an all time club record victory over Anderlecht in a game at Old Trafford, where a hat-trick from Tommy Taylor and four goals from Dennis Viollet helped United record a 10-0 victory over the Belgian champions.

In the first division United carried on the form from Europe and won the league by eight points from Tottenham. These back to back titles for the young team that Busby had put together shows the potential that the group possessed. Had that fateful night in Munich not occurred it is widely believed that this group of players, including Duncan Edwards would have not just dominated English football but also dominated on the European stage.

Irish forward William Whelan scored 26 league goals on the way to United’s fifth title, with a certain young midfielder by the name of Bobby Charlton chipping in with ten more himself.

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Sources of information
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