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Flashback: Blackpool v United Cup Final 1948


As Manchester United travel to the seaside on Tuesday night for the first time since 1974, younger fans may regard Blackpool as a newcomer to top flight football but that was not always the case. It was one of England’s leading clubs after the war with legends like Sir Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen striking fear in everyone they faced. Their 1948 FA Cup Final meeting with United was described at the time as “one of the greatest cup finals in history”.  United had reached Wembley via a seemingly impossible route that saw them face first division opposition in every round. After beating  Aston Villa 6-4 in round three they had to face league champions Liverpool who were beaten 3-0. That was followed by a 2-0 victory over Charlton then a 4-2 win against Preston. Centre forward  Stan Pearson scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 semi final defeat of  Derby at Hillsborough before facing Blackpool in the final.

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Old Trafford Legends: Duncan Edwards 1952-1958


Millions of  England football fans are hoping – some against hope, that a picture of captain Rio Ferdinand holding aloft the World Cup will be splashed on the front pages of the global media on the morning of July 12 just like the one of  former captain Bobby Moore was on that unforgettable day in 1966. Football, like life itself is full of unanswered ‘Ifs’ and the question must be asked whether that iconic picture of  Moore would have ever appeared IF…

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