Football: The Ex-files - Wembley factor flavours derby

Click to follow
The Independent Online
The fixture computer which paired Manchester United with Bolton Wanderers in the week of the 40th anniversary of the Munich disaster was clearly programmed for poignancy. The clubs are forever linked by the FA Cup final three months after the crash, but despite their close proximity, dealings between them have been scarce.

That was not always the case. James Cassidy, who in 1890 set the Bolton record of five goals in a match, was transferred to Newton Heath, the railway workers' team who were the forerunners of United. James McClelland, an FA Cup winner with Wanderers in 1929, went to Old Trafford as he wound down his career at 34, a move that would be inconceivable today.

Eric Bell joined United after national service in 1950, only to sign for Bolton inside a month. He scored the first of only two career goals in the "Matthews final" three years later. Around the same time, Matt Busby brought Harold McShane from Burnden Park for pounds 5,000 plus John Ball. The father of the actor Ian McShane, he went on to win a championship medal in 1952.

Tony Dunne, a full-back in Busby's European Cup-winning side, became part of a classy Bolton team built by Ian Greaves, himself one of United's Wembley losers in 1958. Willie Morgan won Second Division titles with both clubs, while Alan Gowling, Peter Barnes, Wyn Davies and Barry Fry (the very same; a post-Munich Red who did not make it) also had a dual connection, with Peter Beardsley providing the "ex" factor in today's derby.

Comments