Less than two months after the Munich air disaster saw eight players perish amongst the 23, Manchester United played against Bolton Wanderers in the 1958 FA Cup final.
Since the crash occurred coming back from a European Cup match in Belgrade, a decimated United team (presided over by assistant manager Jimmy Murphy whilst Sir Matt Busby recovered) had beaten Sheffield Wednesday, West Brom and Fulham en route to the final under extraordinary circumstances. They beat the Cottagers 5-3 in the semi-final replay at Highbury.
At Wembley, United donned an iconic one-off kit, sporting a new crest some believed to be a phoenix rising from the ashes. But contrary to popular belief, it is a short-lived badge which was featured in a new Manchester coat of arms that was introduced several months earlier. The golden bird is actually an eagle and is the same one featured on Manchester City's current crest.
With the nation behind them but Bolton fans, a fairytale story was scuppered by the brute force (literally) of Nat Lofthouse. When the Trotters returned home with the cup, their team bus was pelted with tomatoes.
Enjoy Pathe's report 54 years on from the all-Lancashire final in the above video.
More:FA Cup Finals Bolton 2-0 Manchester United 1958 FA Cup Final Great Speed Up Bolton Manchester United 1958 Nat Lofthouse
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