Classic tie brings memories flooding back for Foulkes

Bill Foulkes will always hold a special place in Manchester United history as a Munich air-crash survivor and the man whose unlikely goal took Matt Busby's team to their first European Cup final.

For 18 years Foulkes, now 71, was at the heart of United's defence and was the only United player to appear in both of their European Cup semi-final legs in Madrid. He describes "the unique bond between the clubs" and himself as the "cripple who beat Real Madrid" and still considers the goal he scored in Real's Bernabeu on May 16, 1968 as "the greatest moment of my career".

In 1957, Foulkes had experienced a 3-1 defeat. A 2-2 draw back at Old Trafford failed to salvage United's dreams. Eleven years later Foulkes and Busby's rebuilt side following the Munich tragedy were back in Madrid with a 1-0 lead from the first semi-final, but this time they clawed their way to a 3-3 draw with Foulkes scoring the winner.

All those memories will come back for Foulkes when United take on Real Madrid again, in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"After Munich, that's when Real Madrid came to help us," Foulkes said. "They became special friends because they kept playing a series of friendly games against us which helped our finances enormously. There were huge crowds and it got our team to start thinking about the level of football we were facing. Not only did we get the gate receipts but we learned so much from them on the pitch in those friendlies."

Foulkes recalled the night at the Bernabeu in 1968 when his goal sent United through to the final. He had set off from his own area to support yet another George Best run.

He said: "I wasn't going very fast, I'd got cruciate knee trouble so it was a limping run down the middle of the pitch – I wasn't that mobile at the best of times. I remember Nobby Stiles saying as I went past him, 'where the hell are you going', but I kept going.

"Denis [Law] wasn't playing, Bobby [Charlton] wasn't having that great a time and Brian [Kidd] was still just a youngster. We had no strike force really, we'd got an own goal and then David Sadler's effort from a corner.

"Bestie set off and I made the run really to try to get people off George's back because he'd been double-marked all night and they'd been kicking him.

"I got to the box, he reached the line and I was praying he wouldn't look up because if he did he'd see it was me and never give me the ball.

"But he did look to see me, I was the only United player anywhere near the box. I checked in, came out a couple of strides and he just gave me a beautifully-weighted pass and all I had to do was put it into the opposite corner with the outside of my right foot."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links