Halifax Town nostalgia: When Best, Law and Charlton's Manchester United were humbled at The Shay

In the first of a series looking back on some of Halifax Town's most memorable moments, we recall when a star-studded Manchester United lost at The Shay on July 31, 1971.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 4:15 pm
Lammie Robertson, Barry Holmes and Tony Rhodes. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Lammie Robertson, Barry Holmes and Tony Rhodes. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell

In front of 19,965 supporters, goals by Bill Atkins and Bob Wallace saw Halifax win 2-1 in the Watney Cup over a United side including George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. Thanks to Johnny Meynell for his help with this article.

George Best runs out onto the pitch. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Queues outside The Shay before the game. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell

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Lammie Robertson chases Brian Kidd. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Willie Morgan has his penalty saved by Town keeper Alex Smith. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
George Best takes on Barry Holmes. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Jeff Lee tackles Bobby Charlton. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Bobby Charlton. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
George Best tries to run round Town's Andy Burgin. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Town celebrate Wallace's goal. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Denis Law. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
John Pickering challenges Man Utd's Alan Gowling. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Lammie Robertson challenges George Best. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Andy Burgin and Dave Chadwick see the ball out. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
George Best. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Man Utd supporters. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Tony Rhodes and George Best. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
George Best. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
George Best. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Wallace scores for Town from the spot. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Jeff Lee tackles George Best. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Man Utd's Willie Morgan. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
A George Best fan eagerly awaits her hero. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
Tony Rhodes and an exasperated looking Denis Law. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell
The Courier's verdict. Halifax 2-1 Man Utd, at The Shay, 1971. Photo: Johnny Meynell