Crystal Palace 2 Man Utd 2
Manchester United Factsbook Report: Crystal Palace 2 Manchester United 2, Selhurst Park, English Football League First Division, August 9, 1969. Manchester United drew 2-2 against recently promoted Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in their first competitive match under newly appointed head coach Wilf McGuinness. Scottish imports Roger Hynd and Gerry Queen handed Palace the lead on two occasions, but United fought back each time with goals from internationals Bobby Charlton and Willie Morgan.
Born and growing up in Collyhurst in Manchester, Wilf McGuinness had signed apprentice forms with his local side Manchester United in January 1953 before having been offered his first professional contract in October the following year. Immediately settling down at Old Trafford, McGuinness would find himself in the inspiring company of exciting and exceptionally talented players like defenders Bill Foulkes and Roger Byrne; midfielders Jackie Blanchflower, Eddie Colman, and Duncan Edwards, and forwards David Pegg, Albert Scanlon, Tommy Taylor, Dennis Viollet, and Billy Whelan. After having been handed his Football League debut for Manchester United by manager Matt Busby, a man who had taken over the sleeping giant of a club shortly after the end of the Second World War, in a highly memorable and entertaining 4-3 First Division triumph against Stan Cullis´s Wolverhampton Wanderers, who had finished the previous season as runners-up to Chelsea, in front of an attendance of almost 50,000 spectators at Old Trafford on the 8th of October 1955, he proceeded to register his first goal for The Reds by scoring the opener in a closely contested 2-2 top-flight draw to Sunderland at Roker Park on the 14th of April 1956. A dependable and hard-working midfielder blessed with an excellent football brain, he went on to win the Football League Championship with Manchester United in the seasons of 1955-56 and 1956-57 as well as the FA Charity Shield in 1956 and 1957, but, unfortunately, a broken leg in the 1959-60 campaign would force him to give up his footballing career at the age of only twenty-two. After putting away his playing gear, he moved into coaching at Manchester United, eventually replacing the long-serving and greatly-respected Jimmy Murphy, formerly a wing-half with West Bromwich Albion and Swindon Town, as reserve team manager at Old Trafford in 1964. And then, in the summer of 1969, McGuinness would be asked to follow in the managerial footsteps of Busby who had called it a day at the end of the 1968-69 term after spending twenty-four immensely successful years in the hot seat at Manchester United.
An ageing Manchester United team had to work hard to earn a point against Crystal Palace in their opening encounter of the 1969-70 campaign. The South Londoners, who had battled their way out of League Division Two under no-nonsense boss Bert Head the previous season, had built a reputation of being physical and bullying and had no intention of playing second fiddle to United. Backed by a boisterous 48,000 strong home crowd at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace started out the better and forced themselves into an early 1-0 lead thanks to a close range effort from ex-Rangers defender Roger Hynd eleven minutes into the first half after Old Trafford goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer had misjudged a high ball. Manchester United, who were wearing their traditional all-white away strip, gradually came more into things and evergreen World Cup winner Bobby Charlton managed to draw parity for the visiting outfit as he picked up a cross by Scotland international Willie Morgan before coolly placing the ball past the outstretched arms of diving Crystal Palace shot stopper John Jackson and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net in the twenty-fourth minute of the tussle. But The Glaziers refused to be demoralised and Gerry Queen, a former favourite at both St Mirren and Kilmarnock, sent the Croydon boys back in front again with an excellent individual finish only five minutes ahead of the half-time break. Manchester United applied considerable pressure on Crystal Palace following the resumption and they had another equaliser when Jackson failed to hold a long pass from David Sadler and the ball fell to Denis Law who set up Morgan whose fierce shot from just outside the six-yard box flew directly into the back of the net in the 56th minute of proceedings. Both sides pushed strongly for a winning goal as the game progressed towards the end, but no further goals were registered and the contest ended with a 2-2 final score.
A loyal stalwart if there ever was one, Bobby Charlton would continue to put in stellar performances in the seasons to come, but time eventually started to take its toll on his legs and he left Manchester United at the end of the 1972–73 term, having contributed 249 senior hits in 758 first team appearances. Following his retirement from playing, Charlton went straight into management as he was appointed as manager at Second Division Preston North End in the summer of 1973. Alas, Proud Preston started off the 1973-74 campaign on the wrong foot with a 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park and they only managed to gain a single point from their first three opening fixtures. Then followed an unbeaten run of five wins and three draws, including a 1-0 victory over promotion favourites Sunderland before a 22,000 crowd at Deepdale Stadium, with the sole goal of the afternoon coming from a penalty converted by ex-Manchester City forward Neil Young after Alex Bruce had been fouled by Ron Guthrie inside the area nine minutes into the second half. Despite having a good blend of experienced campaigners alongside promising youngsters, The Lilywhites could only win four more games for the rest of the season and found themselves relegated to Division Three at the end of the day, rounding off with a 4-2 loss at Deepdale to already crowned Second Division Champions Middlesbrough; led by Charlton´s brother and former Leeds United central defender Jack Charlton. In the League Cup, North End went out 3-1 on aggregate to Bolton Wanderers in the first round, and they fared no better in the FA Cup, going out in the third round after losing 1-0 against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Poor Preston, who had lost several key players following the relegation, could only finish ninth in the Third Division in 1974-75 and Charlton ultimately resigned from his post at the front end of the 1975-76 campaign after a conflict with the board and instead he embarked on a media career as football pundit, beginning with the BBC. He later worked as a director of Wigan Athletic before he became a member of the Manchester United board of directors in 1984.
Elsewhere on the opening day of the 1969-70 season, reigning First Division Champions Leeds United emerged 3-1 victors against Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road through goals from Billy Bremner and Allan Clarke plus a penalty goal by Johnny Giles, FA Cup holders Manchester City overcame Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 at Maine Road, Arsenal succumbed to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Everton at Highbury where John Hurst notched up the winner for The Toffees in the second half, Sunderland and Coventry City shared the spoils in a goalless draw at Roker Park, Wolverhampton Wanderers defeated Stoke City 3-1 at Molineux courtesy of a Derek Dougan brace and a goal by Peter Knowles, Division One new boys Derby County were held to goalless draw against Burnley at Baseball Ground, Newcastle United suffered a 1-0 defeat at Boleyn Ground to West Ham United whose goal was scored by Geoff Hurst after the interval, Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest played out a goalless draw at Portman Road, Southampton lost 2-0 to West Bromwich Albion at The Dell, while 1968-69 runners-up Liverpool beat Chelsea by 4-1 at Anfield, with Ian St John getting a brace and Geoff Strong and Chris Lawler scoring the others. Crystal Palace Team: John Jackson, Roger Hynd, John Sewell, John McCormick, Roger Hoy, John Loughlan, Steve Kember, Mel Blyth, Mark Lazarus, Cliff Jackson, Gerry Queen. Substitute: Tony Taylor. Manchester United Team: Jimmy Rimmer, Tony Dunne, Bill Foulkes, Francis Burns, Paddy Crerand, David Sadler, Willie Morgan, Brian Kidd, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Georgie Best. Substitute: Don Givens.
Manchester United Quickfacts
First Division promotion challengers Manchester United suffered a narrow, but surprise, 2-1 defeat against mid-table side Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on the 14th of February 1925. United´s consolation goal was scored by Arthur Lochhead who had arrived from Hearts in the summer of 1921.
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Manager: Wilf McGuinness