Matt Busby
Home  »    »    »  Five fantastic Sir Matt Busby facts on anniversary of his passing

Five fantastic Sir Matt Busby facts on anniversary of his passing

| 20.01.2016

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 20, 2016

On this day, back in 1994, former Manchester United managerial great Sir Matt Busby sadly died after a long and prosperous life particularly in the footballing world aged 84.

So, in light of the anniversary of the Scotsman’s passing, Coral writers find five fantastic facts that you may not know about the Old Trafford icon.

Lithuania’s finest

Lithuania Trakai Castle

Besides fictional character Hannibal Lecter, the average person in Britain wouldn’t be able to name many famous Lithuanians. However, it is little known that both of Busby’s parents were actually from the Baltic state.

Alexander and Nellie Busby emigrated over to Scotland in the early 20th century, before Matt (born Alexander Matthew Busby) was born in May 26th, 1909.

Man City and Liverpool hero

Soccer - Football League Division One - Brentford v Liverpool

While Man Utd were the only club that Busby managed, for 25 years across two spells, he in fact was a midfielder/forward in his playing days for bitter Northwest rivals Manchester City and Liverpool in more than 300 games combined.

His past connections were soon forgiven, and largely even forgotten, of course after winning much silverware with the Red Devils to install himself as a club icon.

Busby and Fergie alike


Much like future Man Utd managerial legend and fellow Scottish knight of the realm Sir Alex Ferguson, Busby had a short spell in charge of his home nation.

Busby took over from the Scotland national team in 1958, just before the Munich disaster, but was unable to lead them at the World Cup that year due to his injuries. Fergie, meanwhile, did manage them at the 1968 finals, after the unexpected death of Jock Stein, before taking over at Old Trafford that summer.

It should also be noted that Busby also coached a Team GB to the semi-finals at the 1948 Olympics on home soil, losing 3-1 to Yugoslavia, featuring mainly amateurs.

Sole Scotland cap against future friend

Busby, Murphy & Crompton.

Unlike Sir Alex, however, Busby did manage an official cap for his country, which came in 1933 at the age of 24 while on Man City’s books.

Coincidentally, he was playing against Wales which featured future long-term assistant Jimmy Murphy in their XI.

Busby immortalised by Beatles

The Beatles 1966

To finish off with, legendary Liverpool band The Beatles perhaps remembered Busby’s connections with the city, as they reference his name in the song ‘Dig It’ in the 1970 UK-released album ‘Let It Be’.

Featuring other famous names B.B. King and Doris Day, the track, a tribute to Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, is just 51 seconds long, but the full version is actually 8:20 and one of the very few songs credited to all four band members.


Check out more in our trivia section.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.