Matt Busby Biography

Sun 10 October 2021 | 8:30

He is one of the greatest head coaches in the history of football and also one of the best Manchester United coaches alongside his fellow countryman Alex Ferguson. In this article, we will take a look at Matt Busby biography.

Sir Matt Busby, born 26 May 1909 in Orbiston and died 20 January 1994 in Manchester, was a Scottish footballer and coach, who became best known as the coach of Manchester United. He was born in a village in the North Lanarkshire mining district. Both his father and his uncles were killed in the First World War.

From 1929 to 1936, he played for Manchester City. Busby won the FA Cup in 1934. Between 1936 and 1940 he played for Liverpool FC. He made one appearance for the Scottish national team. As with so many of his generation, his playing career was cut short by the start of the Second World War. He led a regiment in the British Army during the war.

Matt Busby was first contacted by Liverpool in 1945 for a coaching position, but he opted for Manchester United. There he won his first national championship in 1952. At the time, he gathered around him a group of young, talented players, like Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton, who were nicknamed the Busby Babes. United was again champion of England in 1956 and 1957.

At the beginning of 1958, many of the team were killed in a plane crash at Munich airport. Busby was saved from the burning plane by goalkeeper Harry Gregg. Busby was so badly injured that his life was in danger. He was twice given the last rites, but after a long stay in the hospital, he was finally allowed to resume his work. In the summer, he had the opportunity to coach Scotland during the World Cup in Sweden, but his health did not allow it.

All You Need to Know About Matt Busby Biography

Busby rebuilt the Manchester United team in the 1960s, using players such as Charlton, Law and George Best. His biggest success came in 1968 when he won the European Cup I after a victory over Benfica. He was also promoted to the peerage that same year.

In 1969 Matt Busby retired from football but stayed involved with United as a board member until 1982. In 1994, he died at the age of 84.

Matt Busby Information

Now that we know the Austrian coach much better, in this section of

Matt Busby biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Matt Busby nationality

to let you know him even better.

Matt Busby Bio

  • Full Name: Sir Alexander Matthew Busby

  • Nickname: N/A

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Matt Busby Physical Stats

  • Weight: 75 Kg

  • Height: 1.78 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Grey

Matt Busby Football Information

  • Position: Inside Forward

  • Jersey Number: 10

  • Professional Debut: 1928

Matt Busby Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 26 May 1909

  • Birth Place: Orbiston, Bellshill, Scotland

  • Zodiac Sign: Gemini

  • Nationality: Scottish

Now stay tuned to this section of

Matt Busby biography

as we want to share some info about

Matt Busby childhood


Matt Busby Early Life

Busby was born in 1909 in the mining settlement of Orbiston, in the suburbs of Bellshill, to a miner and his wife. Young "Matt" was raised in a classic working-class environment where, besides his strict Catholic upbringing, his greatest passion was football.

Although he had above-average intelligence at school, Busby had to work up a sweat from an early age to support his mother and three sisters, who were living in a two-room hovel. By the age of 16, he was following in his father's footsteps and working in a mine.

But already he had dreamed of pursuing a career in football. While spending much of the day in the mine, Matt still got to play for the youth teams of Alpine Ville, where he won the Scottish U-18 Championship. He then went on to sign for Denny Hibs before being spotted by some of the biggest clubs in the country.

First Busby had a trial at Rangers, who turned him down after finding out the boy was a fervent Catholic. However,


, who knew that Busby had previously played for their rivals, did not take him on either. It was

Manchester City

, with whom he signed a contract at the beginning of 1928, who got the better of him.

Manchester City

On 11 January 1928, still aged 17, he was then brought to England by Manchester City, who had recently won the English second division. He made his first-team debut for the Citizens in November of the following year.

He would spend eight years with the team, achieving relative success, and was praised for his passing and vision. In 1934 he won the FA Cup. The previous year, in which he had finished runner-up in the same tournament, he made his only official appearance for Scotland.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Matt Busby biography

as we want to share some info about his




He was sold for £8,000 to Liverpool in 1936, but he did not enjoy a successful spell. In the very first season at his new team, his former City team were able to become English champions for the first time, while the Reds finished only 18th.

During the following season, 1937/38, the team was not much better and finished 11th. In the 1938/39 season, the champions were rivals, Everton. Busby would then quit playing officially there, and enlisted in the Royal Liverpool Regiment with the start of the Second World War. Throughout the war, he played some friendly matches for other teams and some unofficial ones for the Scottish National Team.

Matt Busby Profile

When the war ended in 1945, Busby, then 36, was offered a job on the Liverpool coaching staff. Busby declared that he wanted more authority to manage the actual game of the team - a job that was traditionally reserved for the club manager. The Liverpool management at the time was reluctant to make such a change.

In February 1945 Busby took

Manchester United

offer, following the dismissal of the coach in October the same year he took up a job as head coach of the club. He immediately showcased his high ambitions when United finished runner up in the First Division (the champion was Liverpool) in the 1946/1947 season.

Manchester United FC finished second in the league in seasons 1946/47, 1947/48, 1948/49, 1950/51, until finally, they became champions in the 1951/52 season. At this time the squad Manchester United, captained by Johnny Carey, was already quite "old", and Busby had to find young players to build a new team.

Busby had achieved great success with Manchester United regardless of his lack of coaching experience in the past. Everyone was expecting him to spend a lot of money on purchasing top-class players. However, Busby instead gradually replaced older players with young lads aged 16 to 17.

Among them were right-back Bill Foulkes, central midfielders Mark Jones and Jackie Blanchflower, powerful midfielders Albert Scanlon and David Pegg, and striker Liam Whelan. They also included Duncan Edwards, who has been hailed by many as the best England player of his generation - he was called up to the


team at the age of 18 - a record that has stood for over 40 years.

Throughout this period the team was affectionately known as the "Busby Babes" because of the young age of many of the players. "Busby Babes" team won the championship in the seasons 1955/56 and 1956/57, and in 1957 made it to the final of the FA Cup, where they lost to "Aston Villa". This young team were so successful that for four years the only major purchases by United were centre-forward Tommy Taylor and goalkeeper Harry Gregg.

Busby Babes started the 1957/58 season with a strong prospect of winning the English league title, the FA Cup and the European Cup. On their way home from the European Cup final against Belgrade club Crvena Zvezda, the plane carrying the players crashed at Munich airport on February 6, 1958.

There were 23 casualties, including eight players and three club employees. Duncan Edwards died 15 days later in hospital. Two of the players suffered injuries that kept them from playing further football. Matt Busby was injured extensively but survived and was discharged from the hospital two months after the disaster.

He attended the FA Cup final three months later, where a devastated United lost to


at Wembley Stadium. He returned to his job as head coach of the club the following season, a job temporarily filled by his assistant Jimmy Murphy.

Busby was appointed acting head coach of


in 1958. Under his management, Scotland played two games against Wales and Northern Ireland. It was then that Denis Law played his first match for the national team.

Following the disaster, Busby started to develop a new team around the survivors in Munich Harry Gregg, Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes. He had purchased David Herd, Albert Quixall and Denis Law from other clubs. Towards 1964 Busby had scouted a talented young player, George Best of Northern Ireland, who many regarded as the best footballer of that decade.

Busby had successfully rebuilt United by 1963, guiding the team to a 3-1 victory over Leicester in the FA Cup final. "Manchester United then won the First Division in 1964/65 and 1966/1967 seasons and missed out on the championship in 1965/66 season in the last round, which prevented the team to achieve championship 'hat-trick', taking the league three seasons in a row (Manchester United later achieved under the leadership of Alex Ferguson).

The biggest success of his career came on May 29, 1968, when Manchester United won the European Cup by beating Portuguese side


in the final match at Wembley. One year later, Matt resigned as head coach but remained as club director, transferring coaching duties to former player Wilf McGuinness.

Coincidence or not, United would endure a period of decline without Busby on their coaching staff, culminating at the end of the 1973/74 season when, stripped of stars such as Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law and other key players of the previous decade including Bill Foulkes and Nobby Stiles, United were relegated.

Following eleven years on the board, in which United's only titles were the

FA Cup

and FA Community Shield in 1977 (as well as the English second division in 1975), Busby was appointed president of the club in 1982.

The team built up some momentum, winning three FA Cups in the decade, in 1983, 1985 and 1990, the last with his countryman Alex Ferguson as manager. However, it was Liverpool and


who dominated the national scene at the time (and, since the previous decade, a major force, with whom the club developed a great rivalry).

Busby was decorated with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1958 and was made a knighthood ten years later with the title "Sir". Now stay tuned to this section of Matt Busby biography as we want to share some info about his coaching style.

Style of Play

During his days as coach of Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby was famous for his attacking style of play with the team. Man United always played with the famous 4-4-2 system under his guidance, however, he sometimes used the 4-3-3 attacking as his team main system of play too.


He is considered by many football fans and pundits to be one of the greatest football coaches in history. Matt Busby distinguished himself as the manager of the first golden era of Manchester United, then a mid-table club that he had brought to the top flight of not only English but also European football. Only Alex Ferguson surpasses the records and statistics set by Busby at Manchester United.

Matt Busby outside Football

Matt Busby is featured in the Beatles' song Dig It, which is the introduction to Let It Be, on the album of the same name. The name Busby, among others such as bluesman B. B. King and singer/actress Doris Day, is mentioned by John Lennon in this song.

In August 1991, a tribute was paid to Busby at Old Trafford. During this match, a Manchester team made up of new stars such as Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce played against the Republic of Ireland. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Matt Busby had a heart attack in July 1980 when he was 71 years old and recovered only partially. Shortly afterwards, his wife Jean was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

In January 1994, Busby died of cancer at the age of 84 at The Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester. He was buried in Manchester's Southern Cemetery, next to his wife Jean. A minute's silence was held at United's home game against Everton two days after Busby's death.

Matt Busby Personal Life

In this section of Matt Busby biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Matt Busby life story


Matt Busby religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

Matt Busby married his wife Jean back in 1930. The couple had two daughters together, named Sandy and Sheena. His wife died in 1988, after almost 58 years of living together. Now stay tuned to this section of Matt Busby biography as we want to share some info about his charity activities.


During his long football career, Sir Matt Busby was always a part of many charity projects and supported many charitable causes.

Legal Issues

Sir Matt Busby was never involved in any legal issues or disputes during his career in football and either after retiring as a coach.

Matt Busby Career Statistics

In this section of Matt Busby biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


Having started his playing career with the Denny Hibernian in 1928, he went on to play a total of 351 matches on the club level, scoring 17 goals, most notably for Manchester City and Liverpool.


Busby played his first and only official match for the Scottish national team on 4 October 1933 as Scotland lost 2-3 to


at Ninian Park in Cardiff in the British Home Championship. During the war, Busby also played seven unofficial games for the Scotland team.


Matt Busby had a win ratio of 50.3 percent with 579 wins, 268 draws and 304 defeats he had collected coaching the likes of Manchester United, Great Britain and Scotland in a total of 1151 matches during his career as a coach.

Matt Busby Honors

The only trophy Matt Busby managed to win as a player of the Manchester City club was the 1933-34 FA Cup. However, as a coach, he had won many more awards and trophies, all as head coach of the Manchester United club, including the First Division, FA Charity Shield, FA Cup and the European Cup.

His notable individual level awards and trophies include the PFA Merit Award, English Football Hall of Fame (Manager), ESPN 7th Greatest Manager of All Time, France Football 11th Greatest Manager of All Time and others.

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