Manchester United in Europe by Ken Ferris
Manchester United's quest to win the European Cup was forged amidst the charred remains of an Elizabethan airliner that crashed on take-off at Munich's Riem Airport on 6 February 1958. Twenty-three people died in the tragedy, including eight of the famous Busby Babes. From that moment manager Matt Busby's goal of winning the European Cup became an obsession that permeated the whole club. The prize of becoming the first English team to win the European Cup was United's Holy Grail. Ten years after the Munich disaster Busby achieved his dream when United - inspired by Bobby Charlton and George Best - beat Benfica 4-1 in extra-time to lift the European Cup at Wembley. But that triumph was to hang over the club for the next 31 years as they failed to reach those heights again. Alex Ferguson's arrival spawned a flood of trophies, but the European Cup - by then known as the Champions League - remained elusively outside their grasp. Then came the last final of the 20th century. United snatched a 2-1 victory in stoppage time and in doing so completed the impossible treble. This title recounts the tragedy, destiny and history of those three European campaigns.