Manchester U 7 West Brom 0
Manchester United 7 West Bromwich Albion 0, Old Trafford, English Football League First Division, April 8, 1970. Manchester United had won all of their three previous home fixtures against West Bromwich Albion, but only the boldest of clairvoyants could have predicted the result of this match. Wilf McGuinness´s men were 3-0 up at the interval and added four more goals in the second period to outclass The Baggies to the tune of a 7-0 score.
Manchester born and bred, Wilf McGuinness had signed as a professional with Manchester United on the 25th of October 1954 and proceeded to make 85 first team outings for the club before a broken leg finished his professional playing career when he was just twenty-two-years of age. After hanging up his football boots on a permanent basis, McGuiness continued as a coach at United and when legendary gaffer Sir Matt Busby went into retirement at the end of the 1968–69 season, the former wing half was appointed as his successor; but unfortunately he would only last eighteen months in the hot seat at Old Trafford. In April 1970, however, his Manchester United troops gave fellow mid-tablers West Bromwich a trashing they will probably never forget to this day. The Manchester outfit may never have performed at their very best under McGuinness, but The Reds still had plenty of firepower, and although they came into the First Division encounter against West Bromwich on the back of a disappointing and heavy 5-1 loss to Newcastle United at St James´ Park a mere four days earlier, it didn’t take them long to recover as they used an offensive explosion to demolish The Throstles by a 7-0 margin. At Old Trafford, John Fitzpatrick, Bobby Charlton, and Alan Gowling all went on to register a brace each for United before George Best recorded the final goal of the clash ten minutes from time.
West Bromwich boss Alan Ashman, a former chicken farmer, could only sit and watch as Fitzpatrick opened the scoring account for Manchester United with a magnificent header within the first minute of the midweek game. It was the beginning of a very busy evening, indeed, for West Brom shot stopper John Osborne. With a quarter gone, Charlton netted the second goal of the fixture, and eleven minutes before the sound of the half-time whistle, Gowling made the scoreline 3-0 in favour of the rampant home side. The Old Trafford men continued their onslaught following the intermission and Fitzpatrick notched up a fourth goal for the hosts in the 59th minute of the one-sided affair. Seven minutes later, Charlton put Manchester United five goals ahead while Gowling added a sixth in the 76th minute of the tie, and with ten minutes remaining on the referee´s clock, Best netted the last goal of the contest with a fine strike to hand the red shirts a comprehensive 7-0 win against The Baggies. Despite coming under a lot of criticism, Wilf McGuinness´s Manchester United finished eighth in the First Division table, and reached the semi-finals of both FA Cup and Football League Cup, during his first season in charge. John Fitzpatrick, for his part, went on to notch up ten goals in 147 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United before doctors advised him to retire because of a chronic knee condition. Manchester United Team: Alex Stepney, David Sadler, Tony Dunne, Ian Ure, Paddy Crerand, John Fitzpatrick, Willie Morgan, Nobby Stiles, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Alan Gowling. Substitutes: None. West Bromwich Albion Team: John Osborne, Ray Wilson, Doug Fraser, Alistair Robertson, Alan Merrick, Lyndon Hughes, Asa Hartford, Colin Suggett, Jeffrey Astle, Alistair Brown, Bobby Hope. Substitutes: None.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United failed to win any of their six opening matches of the 1969-70 campaign, their first victory of the season coming in a 3-1 triumph against Sunderland at home in late August.