By Worried Turkey.
Albert Scanlon – 127 appearances, 35 goals
This article was difficult to write…
In all truthfulness Scanlon, sorry… Albert was the Nani of the fifties. He had skill and his crossing was second to none, but boy could he be frustrating. He could be a world beater one minute and a right pain in the arse the next. He had such a confidence issue, yet the likes of Charlton and especially Tommy T. thought the world of him. You always knew if Scanlon was going to have a good game from the first five minutes, he’d try a little dip of his shoulder and slipping inside – if it worked, brilliant we had 12 men. If not, we virtually played with ten men (no substitutions allowed those days).
Albert was 22 when the crash happened; he suffered head injuries and a broken leg. To return and have his best season the following year was unbelievable. He scored 16 goals and I suppose on reflection his confidence was at its highest. Strangely upon watching him, I thought he was capable of more and the crash unlike others had taken its toll. This was his last attempt at trying to rid the demons out of his head… I’d seen it in others but as time passed the furrowing of the brows grew bigger. With Albert, only he knew… but to me the freedom of his play had gone, which was such a shame. He could have gone on to better things.
Scanlon started on the left wing in Manchester United’s European Cup quarter-final second leg away to Red Star Belgrade; for five of the players who started the game, it was to be their last ever match for the club. Albert was later sold to Newcastle after Sir Matt moved Bobby Charlton more to the left hand side in 60/61; I think with regret that Sir Matt let Albert go. Albert gave his best performance the previous game before Belgrade (in defeating Arsenal 5-4), he had been majestic. Tommy T once said “my job is made easy especially when you don’t have to jump or move to score and with what I get supplied with I rarely have to”.
Scanlon’s connection with Man United has remained strong. When United won the title in 2007, he presented our players with the trophy (alongside Bill Foulkes). I remember Albert with fond memories; he was one you could never dislike even when he frustrated. He looked boyish in face come the start of a game, but oldish in lines by the end if his performance was poor.
I’ve gone on long enough now. I’ll finish by saying if Albert had self belief, he would have been some player… If he only knew, because we believed in him…….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Register with the Stretford End Arising forum.