Explained: United’s incredible 85-year Academy landmark | Man Utd v West Ham

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The tragic Munich Air Disaster of 1958 devastated that great team, but United’s development of young players continued. By the 1960s, George Best, Nobby Stiles, David Sadler and more emerged, and when United became the first English team to lift the European Cup in 1968, all four goals against Benfica were netted by homegrown players.

 

Through the decades, United’s reputation for youth football has endured. In the ’70s, came Sammy McIlroy and Arthur Albiston; in the 1980s, Mark Hughes and Norman Whiteside; in the ’90s, the famous Class of ’92, which included three of our all-time top 10 appearance makers, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville. Many others also broke through and, while they might not be household names like Giggs, Scholes and Neville, they achieved the dream of millions: pulling on the red shirt in a competitive first-team fixture.

 

In recent years, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have helped to continue the run. And only last season, we lifted a record-extending 11th FA Youth Cup title by beating Nottingham Forest. Two members of that team, Alejandro Garnacho and Charlie McNeill, have already featured for our first XI, with the former earning the Man of the Match award Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday, in our final game before the landmark.

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