Millennials have been spoiled with a plethora of world-class Manchester United talent, with satellite TV and the internet allowing the watching world to relive reel after reel of Cristiano Ronaldo goals, David Beckham crosses or Roy Keane tackles. But, as difficult as it may be to believe, there was plenty of ability on show at Old Trafford before the TV cameras brought the Premier League to a wider audience.
Here we pick out five players a generation of fans won’t be old enough to remember.
#1 Martin Buchan
United haven’t always been one of the top sides in England. The David Moyes era, when United finished seventh, is most fans’ nadir, but there was a time when United were playing in the second tier of English football. That time was 1974, when former hero Denis Law back-heeled a winner at Old Trafford for Manchester City to relegate their bitter rivals.
The captain back then was Martin Buchan, and amidst all the turmoil, the cultured defender led United back to the big league at the first attempt the following season. Known for his supreme football brain and positional awareness, Buchan led United to victory in the FA Cup final over Liverpool three years later, and was a losing finalist in the 1979 final, known for Alan Sunderland’s late, late winner.
Buchan wouldn’t look out of place in today’s game. The Scotland international played over 450 times for United in all competitions before injuries caught up with him.