Manchester United And The Carriage And Wagon Department Of The Lancashire And Yorkshire Railway Depot At Newton Heath
Manchester United And The Carriage And Wagon Department Of The Lancashire And Yorkshire Railway Depot At Newton Heath
In Manchester United`s early days the `red devils` were the `heathens` of Newton Heath, and wore the green and gold of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, because they`d been formed by the LYR carriage and wagon department at the Newton Heath depot. Although Manchester United didn`t win a major trophy until the league championship of 1908, in the guise of Newton Heath`s `heathens`, what would become the `red devils` were successful in senior competitions before what was perceived as Manchester United`s first era of English league championship success in 1908, 1911, and F.A. Cup Final victory in 1909. In those days the half back line of Duckworth, Roberts and Bell were the base for the team`s triumphs, while Billy Meredith, the Welsh winger and original soccer `superstar`, with George Wall on the left as his wing partner, provided the service for strikers, Harold Halse, and John and Sandy Turnbull, who were related but distantly, to turn chances into goals.
Manchester United had been fortunate in 1906 to obtain the services of Billy Meredith, inside forward, Jimmy Bannister, Sandy Turnbull and left back, Herbert Burgess, because rivals Manchester City`s suspension from the league for illegal payments to players resulted in an exodus to United as soon as the ban on Manchester City`s competing again in the league was lifted. The influx of players from Manchester City boosted a squad that had won the Manchester Senior Cup in 1902. A competition amongst clubs, including Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Bury Town, Wigan Athletic, and Stockport County, the Manchester Senior Cup was second in the region only to the Lancashire Senior Cup, while the Football Association Challenge Cup, that is, the F. A. Cup, as it came to be known, was the prize cup competition of all England. The Manchester and Lancashire Senior cups, approximating in importance to the difference between domestic and European success in soccer`s modern age, were challenged for consistently by the `red devils` of Manchester United, in the green and gold of Newton Heath`s `heathens`, and the team won Manchester Senior Cups in 1886, 1888, 1890 and 1893, before success in 1902, and a defection en masse by players disgruntled at Manchester City, gave the squad the talent it needed to achieve English league and cup triumphs.
The scorers in the Manchester Senior Cup campaign of 1886 were Watkins and left winger, James Gotheridge, who was still with `the heathens` in 1890. The successful Manchester Senior Cup campaign of 1888 was led by the Welsh brothers, left winger, Roger Doughty and centre forward, Jack Doughty. Alf Farman, right winger or inside right, and inside forwards, George Owen and Willie Stewart, were the gold and green`s goalscoring heroes in the Manchester Senior Cup campaign of 1890. Alf Farman remained on the right wing and Willie Stewart at inside forward in 1893. Bob Donaldson top scored in the newly formed English league with 16 while forward Tommy Fitzsimmons scored four goals on the team`s path to another Manchester Senior Cup victory. Jimmy Coupar, who`d been a goalscorer in the win, remained a part of the team when the Manchester Senior Cup was won once more in 1901-02 although the team`s top league goalscorer was Stephen Preston (11), but the most interesting feature of the side was Billy Griffiths, a centre back signed in 1899 who scored goals, and who`d be joint top scorer with 11 in 1903-04. The direct precedecessor of Charlie Roberts, centre half in the great half back line of Duckworth, Roberts and Bell at Manchester United, which formed the basis of their titles and sandwiched F.A. Cup success of 1907-08, 1909 and 1910-11, Billy Griffiths was ahead of his time.
In Manchester United`s first league title winning season of 1907-08, George Wall (17) and Sandy Turnbull (25) were the main golascorers. In 1908-09 the club progressed to victory in the F. A. Cup Final against Bristol City, 1-0, with a goal from Sandy Turnbull in the 22nd minute after Harold Halse had hit the crossbar and Turnbull latched onto the rebound. The goalkeeper was Harry Moger, and the left and right fullbacks were George Stacey and Vince Hayes. The half back line was a feature of English soccer before the tactical change of twin centre backs in defence, and Manchester United`s was envied. Dick Duckworth was at right half, Charlie Roberts at centre half, and Alex Bell at left half. Billy Meredith was on the right wing and George Wall was on the left, while Harold Halse and Sandy Turnbull were inside left and inside right with Jimmy Turnbull at centre forward. The team finished second in the league and Jimmy Turbull (17) and Harold Halse (14) were top scorers.
In the 1910-11 season Manchester United again won the league title and Sandy Turnbull (18) and `Knocker` West (19), transferred from Nottingham Forest at the start of the campaign, top scored. Although Manchester United`s own history says they remained unsuccessful until F.A. Cup Final victory over Blackpool, 4-2, in 1948 with Matt Busby at the helm, the tradition of the Manchester and Lancashire Senior Cups belies the claim. `Knocker` West continued to knock the goals in for United and the team not only won the Manchester Senior Cup in 1908, 1910, 1912 and 1913 but won the Lancashire Senior Cup for the first time in 1913 and again in 1914 before WWI (1914-18) ended the campaigns of England`s soccer clubs.
In the days before campaigns in Europe against continental opposition, English soccer`s own leagues and cups were accorded more importance by the senior teams. Consequently, what appears to be a paucity of success for Manchester United before WWI is actually a period of greatness. By the late 1880s United had a team capable of winning four Manchester Senior Cups as the `heathens` in green and gold from Newton Heath. A resurgent squad now known as Manchester United`s `red devils` became Manchester Senior Cup winners a decade later in 1902 before Meredith and the others arrived from Manchester City to strengthen the team for its league titles of 1908 and 1911 and that sandwiched the F.A. Cup win of 1909. Contrary to modern historical interpretations, United of Manchester, Lancashire and England, were a success in winning four Manchester Senior Cups between 1908 (1910) and 1912-13, and two consecutive Lancashire Senior Cups, 1913-14, before WWI.
When the soccer campaigns began in earnest again in 1918 Manchester United were unsuccessful, according to received wisdom, until after WWII (1939-45), whereas victories in the Manchester Senior Cup were achieved in 1920, 1924, 1926, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937 and 1939, while success in the Lancashire Senior Cup came in 1920, where the trophy was shared with Liverpool, 1929, 1938, and 1941 and 1943, when patriotic fervour not to allow English culture to be subdued by the war with Germany, which had bombed Manchester and Liverpool from Zeppelin airships, meant continued Lancashire Senior Cup competition.
When Manchester United`s manager, Matt Busby, was appointed after WWII to a bombed out Old Trafford stadium he rebuilt the club much quicker than anyone anticipated because of the patriotism of the Manchester Senior Cup which afforded a pool of players Busby could select for an English league campaign. Although Manchester United didn`t win the league title again until 1951-52 the F.A. Cup Final winning team of 1948 was the basis for that championship and it`d been constructed from amongst those players who`d been available to Busby because of the Manchester Senior Cup campaigns of the war years. Those players gave Manchester United the runners-up spot in the league title race for three consecutive seasons, 1947-9, and were the backbone of the first championship success in 1951-52 since 1910-11.
When Manchester United finished second to Liverpool in 1947 the top scoring forwards were Jack Rowley (26), Stan Pearson (19) and Johnny Morris (8), who`d become a professional footballer with Manchester United in 1939. Charlie Mitten was the left winger weighing in with 11 strikes and Jimmy Delaney was the right winger with 7 goals. United`s captain, Johnny Carey, had been at the club since 1936 and was a full back who`d scored a bagful of goals for United as an inside forward. Allenby Chilton, centre half, joined United from Liverpool in 1938 and was still a member of the team in 1951-52 when Manchester United won the league. The F. A. Cup Final team of 1948 was goalkeeper Jack Crompton, left and right backs, John Aston and Johnny Carey, and the half back line of John Anderson at right half, Allenby Chilton at centre half, and Henry Cockburn at left half. Jimmy Delaney was on the right wing and Charlie Mitten was on the left. while Johnny Morris and Stan Pearson were the inside left and inside right with Jack Rowley at centre forward.
Jack Rowley scored the first two goals in the 4-2 defeat of Blackpool in the 28th and 70th minutes, while Pearson and Anderson were United`s other goalscorers in the 80th and 82nd minutes. Jack had been United`s top goalscorer that season with 28 while Pearson (18), Mitten (8), and Morris (18) were the other main contributors. Although Manchester didn`t win the league but finished second in 1948-49, most of the players that almost took the title were still there in 1951-52 when United did win the championship. Again Rowley (20), Pearson (13), Mitten (19) and Morris (6) were the scorers, and the same was virtually true in 1951-52 when Jack (30), Stan (21), John Downie (10), who`d arrived in 1949 as Morris` replacement, and Johhny Berry (6), who had arrived from Birmingham City at the beginning of the season`s campaign as a natural right winger, did enough to bring the title to Old Trafford`s `Theatre Of Dreams`.
Johnny Berry would play for England until the Munich aircrash of 6 February 1958 would rob the English team of most of their hopes for that year`s World Cup summer. England and the Manchester United squad lost its heart in the snow and ice of a plane`s failure to take off in Germany on the way back from a 3-3 draw in the European Cup against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Johnny wasn`t among the players that died but he never played again. In 1951-52 United`s left full back, John Aston, who had often played as a centre forward for United, was slowly being replaced by the future England captain, Roger Byrne, although Roger had begun as a left wing goalscorer himself and had scored 8 times in the last six games of the 1951-2 season to ensure United didn`t falter. Roger Byrne would also lose his life at Munich, but continuity is what it`s about at Manchester United. Before the European Cup Final of 1968, John Aston Jnr, a young left winger, would be told by Matt Busby to run at Benfica`s defenders, who he`d noticed `turned as slowly as a Portuguese carousel`, and get crosses in to teenage scoring sensation, Brian Kidd, who was in the side for injured Stretford End goal hero, `King` Denis Law. United`s strategy to win the European Cup Final at Wembley`s national stadium, London, which they did, 4-1, paid off when Brian Kidd scored a third headed goal at 2-1 after the Benfica `keeper parried his first header and Kidd looped it back over him and into the net.
John Aston Snr left Old Trafford in 1954 after becoming a professional for Manchester United in 1939, which meant he`d played before and after WWII and been part of a group of players who`d won the F.A. Cup and the league but also the Manchester Senior Cup in 1939 and Lancashire Senior Cup in 1941, 1943 and 1946. Goalkeeper Jack Crompton wouldn`t leave Old Trafford until 1955-56 when Matt Busby`s `Babes` won their first title and were still being helped to do so by Allenby Chilton at centre back, who`d been with Manchester United since 1938 and was but slowly being replaced by teenager, Mark Jones, who`s also lose his life at Munich after the team`s second successive title in 1956-57. Left half Henry Cockburn had only been at the club since 1943 and wouldn`t depart until 1954 after the league title win of 1951-52.
Jackie Blanchflower was groomed as Henry Cockburn`s replacement. Brother of Northern Ireland and Tottenham Hotspur`s Danny, who said Jackie was `the better player`, Danny Blanchflower was Spurs` captain in their league and F.A. Cup `double` winning season of 1961 and so would know, but Jackie died at Munich. Jack Rowley was bought from Bournemouth and Biscombe, where he`d scored 10 goals in his first 11 games, for 3,000 GBP aged 17 in 1937 as a left winger. Becoming a valuable left-sided centre forward, Jack didn`t leave Manchester United until 1955. Stan Pearson was an amateur with the club from 1935 and became professional in 1937 before retiring in 1953 with 148 career goals, the 9th highest in the club`s history. Rowley and Pearson`s eventual replacements were Tommy Taylor and Dennis Viollet, who survived the Munich aircrash to go on to score 159 goals between 1952 and 1962. Tommy Taylor would have led the line for England at the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden but he lost his life in the aircrash at Munich. Taylor had been bought for 29,999 GBP, because Matt Busby didn`t want to burden Tommy with a 30, 000 GBP label, to defend United`s title of 1951-52. He found the net 112 times in 166 appearances in the red shirt and white shorts of Manchester United before his death. The old guard stuck around for as long as they could in the nurturing of the `Busby Babes` but one by one they had to give way to youth and, despite the club`s success in bridging the yawning gulf left by wars` ravages, nothing but the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup could prepare Manchester United for the Munich air disaster.
Manchester United won the Manchester Senior Cup in 1955, 1957 and 1959, and the Lancashire Senior Cup in 1951, when future Manchester United centre back and captain, Bill Foulkes (1951-70), was just 19 years of age, having joined the club in 1950. The Lancashire Senior Cup was good preparation for a successful league title campaign in 1951-52. When the Manchester United team crashed at Munich in 1958, it was the core of the players that remained from winning the Manchester Senior Cup in 1955 and 1957 that would rise to reach the F.A. Cup Final of 1958 and finish second in the league in 1958-59 to inspire the club amidst waves of emotion. Matt Busby would build a fourth Manchester United team to rise again and win the F.A. Cup in 1963 to begin an ascent that would see the new generation of players achieve the championship in 1964-65 and 1966-67 before the great culmination of finally winning the European Cup in 1968. That was what the young `Busby Babes` had first set out to do when the club accepted the challenge of a European title to be won and were invited to participate as English champions in the European Cup of 1957-58, but which ended so tragically.
Derided as secondary trophies, the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup were the life`s blood of Manchester United from their beginnings in the green and gold of Newton Heath`s `heathens`, but without regional honours to compete for it`s doubtful the `red devils` would have maintained success. Mark Pearson made his first-team debut on 19 February, 1958, as part of a makeshift side to play Sheffield Wednesday in United's first game after Munich:
`... it was the performance of two young men, Cope at centre-half and the 17-year-old Pearson at inside-left, that left us rubbing our eyes in astonishment. Their maturity, polish, and skill left one wondering what other magic is hidden away in Old Trafford.`1
Ron Cope had been the captain of the first Manchester United team to win the F.A. Youth Cup in its inaugural year of 1952-53 against Wolves and the club would go on to consecutive successes in 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56 and 1956-57. Although largely overlooked until after the Munich aircrash, and indeed during the era of early F.A. Youth Cup success, because of the influx of great talent at Manchester United, Ron Cope`s worth wasn`t truly appreciated until after the disaster made him an indispensable `stopper`. Mark Pearson had won his first F.A. Youth Cup Final medal in 1956 against Chesterfield with future manager after Busby, Wilf McGuinness, his captain at wing half, who would pick up successive medals from 1954-57. Of the players who died at Munich, midfield`s `gentle giant`, Duncan Edwards, wing half, Eddie Coleman, left winger, David Pegg, and forward, Liam `Billy` Whelan, all played in Manchester United`s Youth Cup years of dominance before going on to be a part of the league title winning teams of 1955-56 and 1956-57.
Bobby Charlton, a left winger with a powerful shot, survived the Munich crash, and Albert Scanlon recovered to lead United`s forward line to second place in the league in 1958-59. Charlton went on to a 1963 F. A. Cup winners` medal as well as 1964-65 and 1965-67 league titles, and in his role of deep lying centre forward he played for England in the World Cup Final of 1966 at Wembley stadium, London, where the Germans were beaten 4-2, largely thanks to a hat trick by West Ham`s strongly determined forward, Geoff Hurst, while in the preliminary games England had relied much on Bobby Charlton`s strong running, thoughtful array of passing abilities, and his blistering shooting prowess.
In the Youth Cup winning teams alongside Bobby Charlton (1954-57), right winger, Shay Brennan (1956-57), would be playing right back in the title years of 1964-65 and 1966-67 and in the European Cup Final of 1968, when United beat Benfica, 4-1. After the Munich disaster the club`s Youth Cup winners, right winger, Kenny Morgans (1956-57), and centre forward, Alex Dawson (1956-57), would help United to an immediate taste of recovery when a patched together team made it to the F.A. Cup Final of 1958 only to lose to Bolton Wanderers, 0-2. The team that May 3rd at Wembley was Harry Gregg in goal, Bill Foulkes captaining at right back and Ian Greaves was at left back. Greaves had missed the Munich aircrash through injury and remained in England. There since 1953, Greaves was the first to wear England captain Roger Byrne`s boots after he was lost at Munich, but he`d already won the league title at Manchester United as a player who qualified for a medal because he`d made enough appearances, so he wasn`t an inexperienced raw youngster. Freddie Goodwin was a `Busby Babe` who rose through the Manchester United youth program to make his debut on 20 November, 1954, at right half against Arsenal. Not selected for the squad, Freddie Goodwin missed the air disaster but had helped the team to the league titles of 1955-56 and 1956-57.
At left half was wing half, Stan Crowther, who`d been an emergency signing for 18,000 GBP from the Aston Villa team that had beaten Manchester United, 2-1, in the 1957 F.A. Cup Final, which Manchester United would almost certainly have won but lost to two Peter McParland goals after Ray Wood, United`s goalkeeper, had to retire from the field of play in the 6th minute when a McParland challenge left him unconscious. Reduced to ten men with inside forward, Jackie Blanchflower in goal, United didn`t concede the two McParland goals until the 68th and 73rd minutes. A Tommy Taylor goal in the 83rd minute suggested how it could have been. A second successive defeat to Bolton Wanderers in 1958, when `keeper Harry Gregg was at the centre of the controversy, as Nat Lofthouse in the 50th minute bundled Gregg over the goaline with the ball in his hands for Lofthouse`s second goal in the 2-0 win, when United had gone behind early in the 3rd minute of the game, meant Manchester United had to wait for the 3-1 defeat of Leicester with goals from no-nonsense striker, David Herd (2), and goal poacher sans pareil, Denis Law, before they could be proud of their third F.A. Cup success in 1963 after wins in 1909 and 1948.
Ron Cope was at centre half in the Manchester United F.A. Cup Final team of 1958 while Alex Dawson, and Colin Webster, who had appeared enough times for United in 1956-57 to qualify for a league title medal, were outside right and left. Dennis Viollet was in the inside left position and Bobby Charlton was the centre forward. Ernie Taylor at inside right had been begged from Blackpool and was duly transferred because United had needed his help. Albert Scanlon was injured in the Munich aircrash and had been chosen to play on the left wing against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia and the 3-3 draw the team has achieved to take them through to a European Cup semi-final they`s inevitably lose to A.C. Milan because of the tragedy. Albert Scanlon didn`t qualify for a champions` medal in 1955-56 and 1956-57 and didn`t make any further appearances that season for United so wasn`t in the F.A. Cup Final team of 1958. Alongside Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollett, Scanlon would play the entire season in 1958-59, scoring 16 goals to Charlton`s 29 and Viollett`s 21 as Manchester United rose from the ashes like a Phoenix to almost take the title but didn`t and, in a period of untold promise and success, Albert Scanlon would leave Old Trafford in 1960 with only his F.A. Youth Cup Final winners` medals as a sign of a spirit unfilfilled.
All of the players had either risen through the youth team ranks to F.A. Youth Cup success (1953-57) or had been a part of the senior squad`s achievements in the title wins of 1955-57 while the Manchester Senior Cup wins of 1955, 1957, and the 1959 success were a further indication of Manchester United`s capacity to recover. Although Bill Foulkes began at right back, he went on to be the big centre half for United in the 1968 European Cup Final and his collection of winners` medals for league titles in 1956, 1957, 1965 and 1967 wasn`t seriously rivalled until full back, Dennis Irwin, arrived at Old Trafford in 1990 from Oldham Athletic, and began a career that resulted in his collecting 7 championship medals in 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000–01.
Dennis Irwin, who could play either full back role, centre back, or midfield, and even as a winger on both flanks, was a part of the greatness that was Sir Alex Ferguson. Knighted as Sir Matt Busby had been after winning the European Cup (1999), Sir Alex Ferguson`s greateness was to show what Manchester United would have been if the squad of players Sir Matt Busby had assembled had played on together. Sir Alex`s policy of a big squad and rotation of players, so each had a chance to shine in arduous but successful seasons, demonstrated what Manchester United`s youth policy and squad of 1957 would have been capable of achieving if the Munich air disaster hadn`t occurred. The tragic irony was that the club could go on because of their love of the flower of youth and, although the pain of Munich would ever transport United further, it`d be a coach they`d rather not be carried along by:
`Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.` (Thess: 4. 17)
Manchester United had their coaches but the best were the Manchester Senior Cup, the Lancashire Senior Cup and the F.A. Youth Cup. When Manchester United`s challenges for the major trophies faltered after Munich and the crest of a wave of emotions that carried the stricken team on to attempt the impossible, it was victories in the Manchester Senior Cup of 1964 and the F.A. Youth Cup Final of 1964-65 that signalled the resurgence of a squad that would win titles in 1964-65 and 1966-67 before culmination in the 1968 European Cup Final against Benfica, 4-1, when a goal from former youth team player, George Best, was the highlight as he latched onto a long ball from Alex Stepney, the United `keeper, flicked on by Brian Kidd, and beat two Benfica defenders before rounding the `keeper to score United`s second and make it 2-1 in extra time after a rare Bobby Charlton headed goal from John Aston Jnr`s left wing cross had looked like being enough.
George Best had played in the 1964 F.A. Youth Cup final win against Swindon Town, 5-2 on aggregate over the two-legs, where the dribbling Irish genius wing prodigy had scored the United goal in the first game at Swindon to give the team a 1-1 draw in the 70th minute after Town forward, Don Rogers, had given his team the lead on 31 minutes. In the second leg, David Sadler, who could play either as a centre half or a centre forward, scored three times, while John Aston Jnr, who`d also play in the 1968 European Cup Final, got another. Bobby Noble was the Manchester United captain for the 1964 F.A. Youth Cup Final at left full back and, although Tony Dunne would be the first choice at left back for United until 1973 after his arrival from Irish league, Shelbourne, in 1959, Bobby Noble won a championship medal in 1966-67 before a car crash tragically ended his chances of continuing the tradition of continuity at Manchester United. The Bobby Noble disaster meant the left back position remained unfilled and became a problem contributing to Manchester United`s relegation from the top tier of English soccer in 1973-74.
Although United won the European Cup in 1968, they lost the league title to Manchester City and, during the following season, a torrid two-leg confrontation with Argentine`s Estudiantes De La Plata for the 1968 Intercontinental Cup, traditionally played between the South American champions, winners of the Copa Libertadores, and the European Cup holders, ended in sendings off and a bloodied nose for the club as they lost on aggregate, 0-1 away and and 1-1 at home, with only an 89th minute goal from Scottish winger and future Manchester United captain, Willie Morgan, to console. Nobby Stiles, who tackled like a madman because, according to those who knew, he didn`t wear his contact lenses when he played, was sent off in the first leg. The Argentine coach had branded Stiles `an assassin`. Nobby had been a World Cup Winner in 1966 with an England team that progressed against an Argentine national side described by England Manager, Sir Alf Ramsey, as `animals`, while Otto Gloria had labelled Stiles:
`... brutal, badly intentioned and a bad sportsman ... `2
Badgered and intimidated with the help of a referee influenced by the pre-match vilification of Nobby Stiles, Hugo Sosa Miranda at one point ordered Nobby to stand away from Argentine midfelder, Bilardo, which interfered with the defender`s duties to the team. Receiving pnches, kicks and headbutts, Stiles finally retaliated and received the red card. In the second leg at Old Trafford, George Best was sent off in the 88th minute with defender, Jose Hugo Medina, who Best had punched. A 7th minute headed goal from Juan Ramon Veron, `the little witch`, right-winger for Estudiantes, proved enough. Fate had a further trick to play, however. Juan Sebastian Ramon, son of `the little witch`, would play in midfield for Manchester United (2001-03) and `Seba` would win a league champions` medal after arriving from Italy`s Lazio for 28, 000, 000 GBP as a cultured and intelligently forward thinking midfield playmaker.
The truth about Manchester United after 1968 was their inability to replace good players who were getting old. Although Best, Sadler and Aston Jnr came through the youth team, the loss of Bobby Noble, and Sir Matt Busby`s seeming refusal to purchase players of the class of Malcolm MacDonald, the Luton Town centre forward, who was a goal machine, meant Manchester United relied too heavily on home grown talent to their detriment when Law, Charlton, Foulkes and Stiles were ageing. John Fitzpatrick, who was heralded as a tenacious tackling defensive midfielder in the style of Nobby Stiles, was added from the victorious F.A. Youth Cup Final side of 1964, but if Sir Matt Busby had bought Malcolm MacDonald for a 1970s equivalence of the record 29, 999 GBP he`d paid for Tommy Taylor, the club would again have had a goalscorer that gave the other players confidence. Malcolm MacDonald went to Arsenal from Newcastle United, who`d purchased `Supermac` from Luton in 1971. Arsenal paid 333, 333. 334 GBP in 1976 and the price tag labelled Manchester United as a team that hadn`t obtained the services of the new Tommy Taylor. Disasters come in various guises.