On this day in 1954 Salford-born, Geoff Bent, made his debut for Manchester United, in a 4-2 victory over Burnley.

A full back, Bent could play on both flanks of the back four, and was often used as cover for Roger Byrne on the left and Bill Foulkes on the right.

Bent went on to make 12 appearances for United in a seven year stint at Old Trafford.

Born 27th February 1932, Bent was brought up in Salford and resided there until his death in 1958.

Aged just 25, Bent sadly died in the Munich air disaster on February 6 1958. He was one of 28 casualties on that fateful day, seven of which turned out for the Red Devils.

Busby’s Manchester united team, had played a game just a day before the accident against Red Star Belgrade. They beat the then Yugoslavian team, 5-4 on aggregate to get through to the semi-final of the European cup for the second year in a row.

The Manchester United staff had enjoyed a night of drinking and cocktails in celebration of their victory, not even 24 hours prior to the event that would rock world football.

United would go onto lose the in the Semi-final against Italian side AC Milan, despite winning the first leg, they were well beaten in the return tie.

After stopping in Munich to refuel, and two failed take-off attempts, the plane crashed killing 28 people and injuring a further 19.

Alongside Geoff Bent, the United players that sadly lost their lives were Roger Byrne, Mark Jones, Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Liam Whelan, David Pegg, and another Salford born legend, Eddie Colman.

 

Gravestone of Geoff Bent – Copyright https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geoff_Bent_headstone.JPG

Bent was survived by both his parents, as well as his wife and his 5-month-old daughter.

Despite only a handful of appearances for United, Salford-born Bent left a lasting legacy, and will be etched in the history of Manchester United forever.

 

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