Wednesday, March 7, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 66: Matt Busby


At number 66 in our countdown of '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' is former Reds captain Matt Busby - a man whose career with Liverpool is often overlooked.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Matt Busby

Years at Liverpool: 1936 to 1945
Position: Wing-half

Date-of-birth: 26/5/1909
Birthplace: Orbiston, Lanarkshire

Signed from: Manchester City (March 1936)

Games: 125
Goals: 3

Honours: none

He may be more renowned for his spell in charge of Manchester United but it should never be forgotten that Matt Busby enjoyed a commendable playing career at Anfield shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. A Lanarkshire-born Scotland international, Busby joined Liverpool for £8,000 from Manchester City in March 1936 and immediately thrust into the Reds successful fight against relegation. He was soon made captain – a role he carried out with great distinction – and firmly established himself as a favourite with the fans on the Kop. Originally an inside forward he had been switched to right half earlier in his career. It proved an inspired decision. Busby's wing half play contained outstanding elegance and grace, while his use of the ball was regarded as brilliant. Alongside fellow Scots Thomas 'Tiny' Bradshaw and Jimmy McDougall he was part of a distinguished half-back line that was described as one of the best in the game at that time. During the season prior to the outbreak of war he was an ever-present as Liverpool's improving league form continued. Busby turned out for the Reds occasionally during the hostilities but hung up his boots in October 1945 to take up a managerial position at Old Trafford. Liverpool officials were loathe to lose him and even offered him a coaching job at Anfield but Busby's mind was already made up and the rest, as they say, is history. His achievements in charge of United are legendary but having helped nurture the fledgling careers of youngsters such as Billy Liddell and Bob Paisley during his time on Merseyside he's also left a lasting legacy at Liverpool that is sadly often overlooked.

Sold to: Retired (October 1945)

Claim to fame: Captaining the club with distinction during the lean years of the late 1930's

Did you know? He won seven wartime caps for Scotland while a Liverpool player and appeared alongside Bill Shankly

Where is he now? Passed away on 21 February 1994

Stephen Done on Matt Busby: "Somewhere in between him playing for Man City and managing Man United people forget he played for Liverpool. His playing career wasn't as long as it should have been at Anfield but he was really loved by the players and was a very inspirational captain in the years just before the Second World War."

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