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29 May 2010

On this day in history: First English club to win European Cup, 1968

On the evening of 29th May 1968, Manchester United faced the Portuguese club Benfica in the final of the major association football club competition in Europe. Manchester United were the first English side to make to a final, but not the first British side. The previous year the Glasgow Celtic team had defeated Inter Milan to win the trophy in Portugal, earning themselves the nickname of the 'Lisbon Lions'. The Manchester side had an extra advantage since their final took place at Wembley Stadium in London.

The score stood at 1:1 at the end of normal time: United had scored first through England striker Bobby Charlton's header in the 53rd minute; however, midfielder Jaime Graça scored for the Lisbon club in the 75th minute. The hard-tackling Benfica could have won the match had it not been for the heroics of the United goalkeeper Alex Stepney who managed to prevent the great Eusébio from scoring before the end of the ninety minutes.

In extra-time, Manchester United found the net three more times, another goal from Charlton, and one each for Brian Kidd and George Best, who later that year received the accolade of European Footballer of the Year.

Below you can see a British Pathé News report with the highlights of the final.

Related posts
Foundation of first Irish football club: 20th September 1879
First black international footballer: 12th March 1881
English Football Association legalises professionalism: 20th July 1885
First Italian football championship: 8th May 1898
First live radio broadcast of a soccer match: 22nd January 1927
Uruguay win first FIFA World Cup: 30th July 1930
First English club to win European Cup: 29th May 1968
Pelé scored his 1000th goal: 19th November 1969

Also on this day in history
Riot at première of Stravinsky`s Rite of Spring, 1913