Raymond Colin Wilkins, was an English football player and coach. Born into a footballing family with his father and three brothers involved in the game, Wilkins played as a midfielder, he began his career at Chelsea, where he was appointed captain at the age of 18, played for clubs including Manchester United, A. C. Milan, Queens Park Rangers and Rangers, he won 84 caps for the England national football team from 1976 to 1986, playing at UEFA Euro 1980 and the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups. After his playing career ended, he worked as a television pundit, as a coach and manager with Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea, he managed Jordan at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and his last coaching job was as the assistant manager of Aston Villa that year. Born in Hillingdon, Wilkins started his career with the Sunday League team Senrab that play in Wanstead Flats, East London. Wilkins made his name in the 1970s with boyhood club Chelsea, which he joined as an apprentice, progressing to his first team debut against Norwich City at the age of 17 on 26 October 1973 as a substitute in a 3–0 home league win.
In 1975, following the club's relegation and the departure of many established players, an 18-year-old Wilkins was handed the captaincy of Chelsea by new manager Eddie McCreadie, taking it from long-time Blues captain John Hollins. He took to the role well, he emerged as Chelsea's key player of that period, leading a team of young players to promotion again in 1976–1977 and, in the next season, consolidation of their place in the First Division. His rapid success, along with his "dark good looks" saw Wilkins becoming a regular pin-up feature in British teenybopper magazines. In 1979, after Chelsea were relegated, Wilkins signed for Manchester United for a fee of £825,000, the highest fee received for a Chelsea player at the time, he scored ten goals in his five years with the Red Devils, including a long-range strike in the 2–2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1983 FA Cup Final. He was voted player of the year by the team's supporters at the end of the 1983–1984 season, his midfield performances drew the attention of A.
C. Milan, who made United a £1.5 million offer for the player. Wilkins signed with A. C. Milan in the summer of 1984, he remarked that the most difficult part of adapting to the Italian game was the focus on fitness — the coaching staff made him work to reduce his body fat levels and Wilkins described the result as being in the best shape of his career. The Italian team was struggling during this period, having suffered relegation in the 1981–82 Serie A, Wilkins was joined by fellow Englishman Mark Hateley; the only foreign players in the squad, the pair helped the team to victory over rivals Inter Milan in the Milan Derby that October, winning plaudits from Italian press and the club's fans. In his first year there, Wilkins played 28 Serie A games to bring the team to fifth in the league and won a runner-up medal in the Coppa Italia; the following season he remained a key player in A. C. Milan's midfield, appearing in 29 league games and scoring two goals — one late goal to salvage a draw at Avellino and another goal the following game against Sampdoria.
These were the only Serie A goals of his career. Overall, the team struggled for goals, with Pietro Paolo Virdis's total of 13 making him the club's only goalscorer in double figures that year; the club suffered off the pitch, with owner Giuseppe Farina absconding to South Africa following accusations of bribery and theft. In Wilkins' final season there, he fell out of the first team structure, following the signing of Roberto Donadoni and the continued presence of both Agostino Di Bartolomei and Alberigo Evani; the team finished fifth in the league, beating Inter twice, in Silvio Berlusconi's first year as owner. Wilkins played 105 games for Milan between 1984 and 1987. Corriere della Sera eulogised him as a "serious and meticulous professional, appreciated for his long and precise passes". Wilkins signed for Paris Saint-Germain in the middle of 1987, but this proved to be short-lived: he failed to break into the team ahead of Gabriel Calderón and Safet Sušić so he eagerly took the option to signed for Rangers for £250,000 that November.
At the Scottish club he won one Scottish League Cup under Graeme Souness. He achieved cult status for his volley in the Old Firm game against reigning champions Celtic in August 1988, giving Rangers the lead in a 5–1 win against their rivals. Despite only playing two seasons for the Glasgow club, he was inducted into their Hall of Fame; the longest stint of his late career was at Queens Park Rangers, for whom he was a regular first team player from November 1989 to 1994, including the team's first two Premier League seasons. He made his debut in the 3–0 away win versus Crystal Palace. Wilkins left QPR in the summer of 1994 on a free transfer to join Crystal Palace as a player-coach under manager Alan Smith, but only made one appearance due to breaking his left foot on his debut. Wilkins re-joined QPR as player-manager on 15 November 1994, following the exit of Gerry Francis; the rest of that season was a success with the team finishing eighth in the Premiership. However the close season of 1995 saw the departure of Les Ferdinand to Newcastle and the following season the team struggled and were relegated.
As player-manager, he appeared in a further 21 games for the club from 1994 to 1996. Wilkins left QPR by mutual agreement in September 1996 after the club was bought by media tycoon Chris Wright following their relegation from the FA Premier League. Wilkins played for four different clubs
Paul John Gascoigne is an English former professional football player and manager. He is known by his nickname, Gazza, he earned 57 caps during his England career. The National Football Museum stated that he is "widely recognised as the most talented English footballer of his generation". Born and raised in Gateshead, Gascoigne signed schoolboy terms with Newcastle United, before turning professional with the top tier club in 1985. Three years he was sold on to Tottenham Hotspur for a £2.2 million fee. He won the FA Cup with Spurs in 1991, before being sold to Italian club Lazio for £5.5 million the following year. In July 1995, he was transferred to Rangers for £4.3 million, helped the club to two league titles and two trophies. He returned to England in a £3.4 million move to Middlesbrough in March 1998. He made his debut in the Premier League in the 1998–99 season, having featured in the 1998 Football League Cup Final, he switched to Everton in July 2000, had spells with Burnley, Gansu Tianma, Boston United.
Gascoigne was part of the England team that reached fourth place in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, where he famously cried after receiving a yellow card in the semi-final with West Germany which meant he would have been suspended for the final itself had England won the game. He helped the team to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 1996, which included scoring a goal against Scotland described by The Guardian in 2013 as "one of the most iconic goals in the game's recent history", he has been involved in a number of high profile goal celebrations at both club and international level, including the "dentist's chair" celebration from Euro ‘96, mimicking playing a flute with Rangers in 1998. In the parts of his career and following retirement, Gascoigne's life became dominated by severe mental and emotional problems alcoholism, he has been jailed or sectioned on numerous occasions and his personal struggles receive regular coverage in the British press. He has attempted to live without alcohol, though rehabilitation programmes have provided only temporary relief.
His personal issues ended his coaching career, he has not worked in football since being dismissed as the manager of Kettering Town in 2005. Gascoigne was born in Gateshead, County Durham on 27 May 1967, his father, was a hod carrier, his mother, worked in a factory. He was named Paul John Gascoigne in tribute to John Lennon of the Beatles, he attended Breckenbeds Junior High School the Heathfield Senior High School, both in the Low Fell area of Gateshead. He was noticed by football scouts while playing for Gateshead Boys, though failed to impress in a trial at Ipswich Town. Further trials at Middlesbrough and Southampton proved unsuccessful, before the team he supported, Newcastle United, signed him as a schoolboy in 1980, he was overweight whilst signed to Newcastle and got into trouble with his friend Jimmy "Five Bellies" Gardner when the pair were taken to court and fined over a hit and run incident. Newcastle chairman Stan Seymour described Gascoigne as "George Best without brains". While Gascoigne was successful on the football field, his childhood was marked by instability and tragedy.
His family lived in a single upstairs room in a council house with a shared bathroom, moved several times during Gascoigne's early life. When he was ten, Gascoigne witnessed the death of Steven Spraggon, the younger brother of a friend, killed in a traffic collision. Around this time, his father began to suffer from seizures. Gascoigne began developing obsessions and twitches, was taken into therapy at age ten, but soon quit the therapy sessions after his father expressed doubts over the treatment methods. Gascoigne developed an addiction to gaming machines spending all his money on them, began shoplifting to fund his addiction, he experienced further tragedy when a friend, whom he had encouraged to join Newcastle United from Middlesbrough, died whilst he was working for Gascoigne's uncle on a building site. At the age of 15, he took the decision to provide for his family – his parents and two sisters – financially, as he saw professional football as a way of earning more money than the rest of the family were capable of.
He enjoyed football, wrote that "I didn't have twitches or worry about death when I was playing football". He was signed on as an apprentice at Newcastle on his sixteenth birthday. Gascoigne captained Newcastle United's youth team to the FA Youth Cup in the 1984–85 season, scored twice in the 4–1 victory over Watford in the final at Vicarage Road. Manager Jack Charlton handed Gascoigne his first team debut as a substitute for George Reilly in a 1–0 win over Queens Park Rangers on 13 April 1985 at St James' Park. At the age of 18 Gascoigne signed a two-year £120 a week contract at Newcastle, with the club having a further two-year option clause. Willie McFaul took over as manager for the 1985–86 season, named Gascoigne in his first eleven from the opening game of the campaign, he scored his first goal at home to Oxford United in a 3–0 victory on 21 September 1985, claimed a further eight goals in the 1985–86 campaign. Newcastle finished 11th in the First Division that season and, at the end of it, Gascoigne was featured on the front cover of the Rothmans Football Yearbook.
He scored five goals in 24 league games in the 1986–87 season, as the "Magpies" slipped to 17th place, just three points above the relegation play-offs. In a 0–0 draw with Wimbledon at Plough Lane hard-man Vinnie Jones singled him out for attention, in an inci
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June 1986. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format. With European nations not allowed to host after the previous World Cup in Spain, Colombia had been chosen to host the competition by FIFA but due to economic reasons, was not able to do so and resigned in 1982. Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983, thus becoming the first country to host the World Cup more than once; this was the third FIFA World Cup tournament in succession, hosted by a Spanish-speaking country, after Argentina 1978, Spain 1982. It was won by Argentina. Argentina was captained by the 25-year old Diego Maradona, who played a large part in his team's success. Maradona scored the "Hand of God" goal, as well as another voted "Goal of the Century", in the same quarter-final against England; these were two of the five goals that Maradona scored during the tournament, he created another five for his teammates. Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in the final at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca.
Total attendance was 2,394,031, an average per match of 46,039. Canada and Iraq made their first appearances at the final stage; the format of the competition changed from 1982. The final pair of matches in each group started at the same time and the second round was played on a knock-out basis rather than groups; the 24 teams qualified were divided into six groups of four. The top two teams and the four best third-place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams. Italy were the defending champions, but were eliminated by France in the Round of 16; the 1986 World Cup saw the appearance of an audience phenomenon dubbed the Mexican wave, popularised worldwide after featuring during the tournament. Colombia was chosen as hosts by FIFA in June 1974. However, the Colombian authorities declared on 5 November 1982 that they could not afford to host the World Cup under the terms that FIFA demanded because of economic concerns. Mexico was selected on 20 May 1983 as the replacement hosts, beating the bids of Canada and the United States, thereby became the first nation to host two World Cups.
This second World Cup in Mexico came 16 years after the first one in 1970. A severe earthquake in September 1985, eight months before the tournament, cast doubt over Mexico's ability to organize the event, but the stadia were not affected and it was decided to go ahead with the preparations; as 1986 had been declared the International Year of Peace by the United Nations, the advertising boards of all the stadia displayed the FIFA and United Nations logos along with the legend "Football for Peace – Peace Year". For the design of the logo an unofficial motto was adopted: "El Mundo Unido por Un Balón"; the official mascot of the 1986 World Cup was Pique, a jalapeño pepper, characteristic of Mexican cuisine, with a moustache, a Colimote sombrero, Mexican football team colours. Its name comes from picante, Spanish for spicy, was a pun on the "PK" abbreviation of the football term penalty kick; the character caused a degree of controversy within Mexico for its ethnic stereotypes. Three teams qualified for the World Cup for the first time: Canada and Iraq.
Canada clinched its spot after winning the final match against Honduras 2–1 in St. John's, Newfoundland. Iraq played. South Korea qualified for the first time since 1954, Paraguay for the first time since 1958, Portugal for the first time since 1966 and Bulgaria and Uruguay for the first time since 1974; as of 2018, this was the last time that Hungary, Canada and Northern Ireland qualified for the finals. In addition, this was the last time that the United States did not qualify for the finals until the 2018 tournament; the following 24 teams qualified for the final tournament. Eleven cities hosted the tournament; the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the largest stadium used for the tournament, hosted nine matches, more than any other stadium used. Mexico City hosted. Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city hosted 10 total matches, Monterrey hosted 8 matches, the Cuauhtémoc Stadium in Puebla hosted 5 matches; the hot and rainy summer weather in Mexico varied from humid desert locations like Monterrey to tropical locations such as Guadalajara.
With the exception of the 93-104 °F temperatures of Monterrey, all of the stadia were located in cities that varied anywhere from Guadalajara being 5,138 feet above sea level to Toluca being 8,730 feet above sea level, making conditions difficult for the players running around in these stadia- but the higher the cities, the less intense the heat. Mexico City, the location of the final match and the location where the most matches were played was 7,380 feet above sea level and the weather there was not as hot as in other cities used in this World Cup. All of these venues except Monterrey were located in central Mexico, as this tournament was organized with the the
Ronald Frederick Atkinson known as Big Ron, is an English former football player and manager. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was one of Britain's best-known football pundits, he spent his playing career at Oxford United. As a manager, he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and 1985 and the Football League Cup with Sheffield Wednesday in 1991 and Aston Villa in 1994. Atkinson, born in Liverpool but moved to Warwickshire shortly after his birth, did not achieve great heights in his playing career. After beginning his career as a ground staff boy at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he was signed by Aston Villa from works team BSA Tools at the age of 17, but never played a first-team match for them, he has referred to Villa coach Jimmy Hogan as his biggest influence. He was transferred to Oxford United in the summer of 1959 on a free transfer. There he played alongside his younger brother Graham Atkinson, he went on to make over 500 appearances in all competitions as a wing-half for the club, earning, in his playing days the nickname: "The Tank", scoring a total of 14 goals.
He was United's captain through their rise from the Southern League to the Second Division, achieved in only six years from 1962 to 1968, an impressive achievement. He was the first footballer to captain a club from the Southern League through three divisions of the Football League. After retiring from playing, Atkinson became manager player of non-league Kettering Town in 1971, aged only 32, his success there led to a move to the league with Cambridge United, going on to win the Fourth Division in 1977 and leaving them when they were on the verge of promotion to the Second Division. At the start of 1978, Atkinson moved to manage First Division West Bromwich Albion, he soon signed black player Brendon Batson from his former club, to play alongside the black pair of Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis. Never before had a team in the top division of English football fielded three black players on a regular basis. Atkinson led West Bromwich Albion to third place in the league in the season 1978–79 and to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
On 30 December 1978 they achieved a famous 5–3 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The club were second in the table at the time, only beaten off top spot from Liverpool by goal difference, they finished fourth in 1981, shortly after this Atkinson became manager of Manchester United on the dismissal of Dave Sexton. Atkinson was seen as the man who could bring the spark to Manchester United, so sorely lacking under his predecessor. Dave Sexton had taken them to second place in the league in 1980 but did not win a major trophy in his four years at the club. United had finished eighth in the season before Atkinson's appointment, Atkinson had missed out of the chance of overseeing a UEFA Cup campaign by departing from Albion and taking over at United. In the 1981–82 season, United finished third in the First Division, to qualify for the UEFA Cup, though for much of the season they were one of several teams who topped the table before a late surge from Liverpool saw Bob Paisley's team seal the title.
Early in the season he had paid a national record £1.5 million for Bryan Robson from his old club West Bromwich Albion, shortly afterwards added midfielder Remi Moses and Arsenal striker Frank Stapleton to his ranks. He gave a debut to promising young forward Norman Whiteside in April 1982, just before the player's 17th birthday. In the 1982–83 season, two appearances at Wembley, one of, an FA Cup victory against Brighton & Hove Albion, coupled with another third-place finish in the league, fuelled speculation that United were back in a big way. During the first half of the season, they had topped the league more than once but a storming run of form by Liverpool beginning before Christmas meant that the title headed for Anfield for the second year running. 1982–83 saw the breakthrough of young Norman Whiteside as one of the best performing players in the First Division. Whiteside was on the scoresheet for the FA Cup final replay as United beat Brighton 4–0 after drawing the first game 2–2. In the 1983–84 season, Atkinson's side reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup although their defence of the FA Cup ended at the first hurdle with a shock 2–0 defeat at Third Division Bournemouth.
They finished fourth in the league, having topped the table at several stages once again, before injuries to key players counted against them and they dropped points. The end of the season saw the sale of key midfielder Ray Wilkins to A. C. Milan of Italy for £1.5 million, while the duration of the season had seen the breakthrough of young striker Mark Hughes. Rather than plunge into the transfer market for a big name, Atkinson shifted Norman Whiteside into midfield to fill the gap left by Wilkins and allowed Hughes to form a partnership with the experienced Frank Stapleton. In the 1984–85 season, United again won the FA Cup; however and his team were denied the chance of another European Cup Winners Cup campaign as the Heysel disaster at the European Cup final that year resulted in an indefinite ban on all English clubs in European competitions. In the 1985–86 season, they won their first 10 games of the league season and were unbeaten after their first 15 games to build a comfortable lead at the top of the table that lasted into the new year.
However, their form tailed off badly and they again finished fourth, with Liverpool finishing the season as league champions. With the ban on English clubs in European competitions continuing, there was not the consolation of a UEFA Cup place. United's ti
ITV Central known as Central Independent Television, Carlton Central and popularly shortened to Central Television and Central, is the Independent Television contractor for the Midlands, was created following the restructuring of ATV and commencing broadcast on 1 January 1982. The station is operated by ITV plc, under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting Limited. During the 1970s ATV, the previous Midlands licence holder, had been criticised for its lack of regional output and character. Although ATV had purpose-built a modern colour production complex in the centre of Birmingham, most of its major productions were recorded at its main studios at Elstree in Hertfordshire, a legacy of when the company served London at the weekends prior to 1968, its corporate headquarters were in central London. ATV attempted to address its problem in 1980 as part of its franchise re-application; the company name would be changed from ATV Network Limited to ATV Midlands Limited, thus reinforcing the greater regional focus.
The IBA accepted ATV's assertion that ATV Midlands Ltd planned to take a more local identity, awarded the contract to ATV Midlands Ltd on the basis that further changes were to be implemented, including that the parent company Associated Communications Corporation would divest 49% of its shareholding in ATV Midlands Ltd in an attempt to introduce local shareholders and that ATV Midlands Ltd's registered office should be within the region. To demonstrate this change of share structure, the IBA insisted that ATV change its company name, to show that it was a new company due to the requirements of a dual region. Reputedly, around the time of the franchise changing hands, a local businessman registered dozens of company names, in the hope of being offered substantial financial compensation to relinquish the rights to one of these, if chosen by the new company. Central got around this by inserting "Independent" into their name on registering it; the station opened transmission at 9:25 am on Friday 1 January 1982 with an authority announcement by duty announcer Su Evans, followed by an extended 5-minute promo entitled Welcome to Central, voiced by Peter Wheeler, previewing the company's network and regional programming and the schedule for the first day of transmission.
Central ran a sole pan-regional service from Birmingham, as a result of an industrial dispute which prevented its East Midlands service from Nottingham commencing before September 1983. The split allowed Central to serve the West Midlands with its own service from Birmingham. There were few differences between the East and West sub-regions, but each had its own news service and during the early years of operation, continuity; this would lead to the BBC launching its own sub-regional service for the East Midlands during the 1980s, which became a region in its own right in January 1991, with the launch of East Midlands Today. By March 1984, the reorganisation of the company was complete, allowing pre-tax profits to double from £3.5 million to £6.5 million in its first two financial years. Shortly afterwards, Zenith Productions was established as a subsidiary of Central Television, which produced programming for the UK and the USA – most famously including the company's television adaptations of the Inspector Morse novels.
Central's interests in on-screen fiction saw the company buy the Korda Film Library in 1986. In January 1987, Central acquired the European division of the American production company Filmfair for £1.5million, which went on to produce several of the station's networked children's series before being sold onto the Storm Group in 1991. On the same day, Central brought a stake in Starstream, who co-founded and operated The Children's Channel – the 22% stake was sold in November 1991 to United Artists Cable International. A few months Central became the first ITV station to broadcast its own overnight service, including short news bulletins, imported output and the long running Jobfinder service – launched in 1986 in partnership with the Manpower Services Commission – which went on to run for 17 years and won a Royal Television Society award. Central was awarded the Queen's Award to Industry for Export twice, for selling its range of programming to over 80 countries around the world, in April 1987 and April 1989Under its growing business portfolio, Central created CTE in December 1987 and opened international bureaux in Hamburg, New York City and Sydney for sales and newsgathering operations.
CTE, the company's key international distributor of programming, would represent output sales for HTV, Meridian and Carlton, who took over Central in 1994. In 1989, the company founded Zodiac Entertainment – an American entertainment firm specialising in the production and distribution of animated cartoons. Central invested $35 million in the company before deciding to discontinue its production business in 1994, leaving Zodiac to become a distributor. In 1989, Central established Television Sales and Marketing Services Ltd, a joint venture with Anglia Television providing airtime sales and program sponsorships, in part to recover production costs. In March 1994, Anglia acquired Central's stake in the com
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed "the Red Devils", the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won more trophies than any other club in English football, with a record 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups and a record 21 FA Community Shields. United have won three UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the club became the first in the history of English football to achieve the continental European treble. By winning the UEFA Europa League in 2016–17, they became one of five clubs to have won all three main UEFA club competitions; the 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players.
In 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies as manager, including 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, between 1986 and 2013, when he announced his retirement. Manchester United was the highest-earning football club in the world for 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €676.3 million, the world's most valuable football club in 2018, valued at £3.1 billion. As of June 2015, it is the world's most valuable football brand, estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. After being floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club was purchased by Malcolm Glazer in May 2005 in a deal valuing the club at £800 million, after which the company was taken private again, before going public once more in August 2012, when they made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Manchester United is one of the most supported football clubs in the world, has rivalries with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United.
Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. The team played games against other departments and railway companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match. By 1888, the club had become a founding member of a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League; this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the "LYR" from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division. In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £280,000 in 2019 – the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies, each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name.
Under Ernest Mangnall, who assumed managerial duties in 1903, the team finished as Second Division runners-up in 1906 and secured promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1908 – the club's first league title. The following season began with victory in the first Charity Shield and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, where it remained until regaining promotion in 1925. Relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Following the death of principal benefactor John Henry Davies in October 1927, the club's finances deteriorated to the extent that Manchester United would have gone bankrupt had it not been for James W. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000 and assumed control of the club.
In the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. In October 1945, the impending resumption of football led to the managerial appointment of Matt Busby, who demanded an unprecedented level of control over team selection, player transfers and training sessions. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947, 1948 and 1949, to FA Cup victory in 1948. In 1952, the club won its first league title for 41 years, they won back-to-back league titles in 1956 and 1957. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season. En route to the semi-final, which they lost to Real Madrid, the team recorded a 10–0 victory over Belgian champions Anderlecht, which remains the club's biggest victory on record; the following season, on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final victory against Red Star Belgrade, the aircraft carrying the Manchester United players and journalists crashed while attempting to take off after refuelling in Munich, Germany.