Incredible letter emerges from United chief on amazing part of club’s history

This is the incredible letter revealing an amazing part of Manchester United history.

Former Manchester United caretaker manager Jimmy Murphy wrote to his trusted friend and chief scout Joe Armstrong just weeks after the Munich air disaster.

Now, sixty years on, the letter – dated April 29, 1958 – is published for the first time and it reveals how Murphy admits “he could not have carried on” without the support of Armstrong.

Murphy sent the letter with two FA Cup tickets for the 1958 final just weeks after the “Busby Babes” were decimated by the plane crash.

Incredibly, Murphy guided United – including four players who survived the crash – to the final where they lost to Bolton Wanderers.


But Murphy is credited with rebuilding and stabilising the club out of the ruins of Munich and building it up to what it is today. But it is clear that Murphy feels none of it would have been possible without Armstrong.

Author Wayne Barton, who has written the book The Man Who Kept The Red Flag Flying: Jimmy Murphy, said: “I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of the letter when Jimmy talks in terms of not being able to carry on and the debt he owes to his great friend Joe Armstrong.

“All the things that Manchester United stood for, the style of play – the last few managers aside! – together with the spirit of the players which motivated the club to carry on are behind what the club stands for today.

“Jimmy created the United philosophy, the spirit, the culture he created is what makes teams like in 1999 go 1-0 down in the European Cup final and still refuse to give up – and then win through in the end.

“Jimmy’s part in United’s history is possibly understated and Joe clearly provided the support to him when he needed it most to keep the club going amid the most appalling tragedy.

“The symmetry is remarkable that it was in 1958, they somehow reached the FA Cup final, and now here we are all these years later back in the FA Cup final in 2018.”

The letter was sent three days before the 1958 FA Cup final and the club were stationed at the Hydro in Blackpool which is on the headed notepaper.

The letter reads:

"My Dear Joe, Do hope all is well with your good self and Sally. I wish to sincerely thank you Joe for all the grand work you have done for me. I really mean this, without you around I could not have carried on. As you know there are a hundred problems to sort out every day and you know the answer to most of them.

Have Enclosed 2 15/~ tickets which no doubt you will be able to use.

I know it’s hard Joe with things as they are at O.T, but do try and relax & don’t worry about things. We have all had a very trying time, only a few of us will ever understand that.

Thanks again Joe

"Always your best friend"

Jimmy

Love to Sally, I’ll be seeing her this weekend.”

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