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Bailey

Bailey’s save v Brighton to keep us in the cup,
Stepney’s reflex to Eusebio’s volley quite close up,
Schmeichel’s saves at St James’ or Vienna in ninety six,
Edwin’s Moscow penalty palm, it always has us split.

But our greatest save in history didn’t come from a gloved hand,
But a businessman eighty years ago, who gave us thirty grand,
Without that cash injection we would have gone I swear,
And would have all been city fans, a thought I cannot bear,

Coz way back then in thirty one with our future in dire straits,
They couldn’t pay the players and couldn’t generate the gates,
But then this Salford businessman said he’d find a way,
To build United up again, starting with the players’ pay.

He supported the club financially as guarantor to the bank,
He stopped us going bankrupt but we’ve got him too to thank,
For setting up the youth team so future players would be free,
Coz back then skint United couldn’t afford the transfer fee.

Our Junior Athletic Club was where future stars would come from,
He bought a rugby ground, the Cliff, to train our young players on,
Then he got the train to stop at Old Trafford on match day,
To drive up the attendances so the club could pay its way.

When those German bombers wrecked us, HE fought for the cheque,
To metaphorically build us up again, quite literally from that wreck,
Ten years away from Old Trafford but still an important entity,
This man would bring us home again and give us back our identity.

And then it was his master stroke to look at Liverpool and City,
And employ their former player the great, legendary Matt Busby,
As manager of our football team, in 51 he won the cup,
But then his employer passed away, this great saver of our club.

He died before we won the league again in fifty two,
But I hope you know our history was all because of you,
A different path, a different route, and United were extinct,
And the history we’d never know would be concise, brief and succinct.

So who was he, this great man, who started everything we know?
Should we sing his name from the rafters… next time when we go,
To Old Trafford to see United, a club that might not exist,
If this businessman from Salford hadn’t promised to persist.

He shares his name with Colin… Terry and Darren too,
But this Gibson did more than any United player could ever do,
He stopped us from going bankrupt but didn’t quite stop there,
James Gibson became our chairman, a chairman that would care.

There might have been another way for our club to carry on,
But he’s the one who made sure… our United wasn’t gone,
So next time you’re on Matt Busby Way over the railway track,
Feel free to pat your gratitude on our James Gibson’s plaque.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.

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