On this day in 1968, Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup, under manager Matt Busby. They beat the Portuguese side Benfica 4-1. Celtic had become the first Scottish and British club to win the competition the previous year. Manchester United's success was all the more remarkable for the fact that just ten years before they lost eight of their best players in the Munich air crash. The victory was a person achievement for manager Matt Busby who himself came close to losing his life in the disaster. Busby was rewarded with a knighthood and he retired the following season to become the club's general manager.
For George Best it was the highlight of his footballing career, as the same year he was named as European Footballer of the Year. He was the first footballer to gain superstar status - but his fame led him into a life of womanising and alcohol. Heavy drinking led to a liver transplant in 2002 and to his eventual death in 2005.
The opening goal of the game came from one of United's greatest heroes, Bobby Charlton, who's second half header looked like clinching the game, but with 10 minutes left Benfica equalised and their striker Eusebio was then denied a late winner when his shot was saved by Alex Stepney the United goalkeeper. The match went to extra-time before three more goals from Best, Kidd and Bobby Charlton saw United run out convincing winners. Charlton and Bill Foulkes were the only survivors of the crash to play in the final.
Charlton had a distinguished career at United, and scored 48 goals for England. He was knighted in 1994.