How Much Would The Manchester United Players Who Won The European Cup In 1968 Be Worth Now?

Posted: July 4, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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These are the kind of questions often asked but seldom answered. Usually, the query will just invoke a smile, a shrug of the shoulders and any one of several quick retorts from, “priceless” to “nobody has enough money to buy them“.

In actual fact, there weren’t many members of that team who would be worth a fortune nowadays. Let’s take a look and a few educated guesses:

1. Alex Stepney – Goalkeeper. Arrived at United from Chelsea in 1967 to replace Harry Gregg, who was to retire through injury. Although capable of spectacular saves and a very reliable goalkeeper he was around during a golden age for English goalkeepers, hence he was only capped once for England.

Peak value today – £15-20 million

2. Shay Brennan – Right Back. Made 19 appearances for the Republic of Ireland despite being born in Manchester and was originally a winger. He was converted to full back by Sir Matt Busby and became very competent at the role. He only played in the European Cup Final due to injury to Francis Burns.

Peak value today – £10-15 million

3. Tony Dunne – Left Back. Another Republic of Ireland international who made 33 appearances for them. He is also seventh in the list of most appearances for Manchester United, having made 530. A very dependable player who was rarely injured.

Peak value today – £20-25 million

4. Pat Crerand – Right Half. Scotland’s answer to Bobby Moore. He couldn’t run and he couldn’t tackle but his positional sense and awareness coupled with his ability to read the game would have made him a very valuable asset to any club at the time.

Peak value today – £25-30 million

5. Bill Foukes – Centre Half. Originally a full back he was another converted by Busby into a ball-playing half back. He was never really tall enough to be a commanding type and so relied mainly on his footballing skill to get the better of opponents. It was his equalising goal in the Bernabeu which ensured that United reached the European Cup final.

Peak value today – £15-20 million

6. Nobby Stiles – Left Half. The terrier of the team and one of the heroes from the World Cup win. Nobby didn’t take prisoners and his pre-game ritual was longer than most players owing to the fact that he had to put contact lenses in and take teeth out! One of the best man-markers to ever grace a football field.

Peak value today – £20-25 million

7. George Best – Right Wing. Wearing the fabled number seven shirt, (which he actually wore less than the number eleven), Best scored one of his most famous goals at Wembley that night. Unfortunately for him, instead of onwards and upwards for United after becoming European champions it was more a case of backwards and downwards as he grew more and more disillusioned with life at Old Trafford due to Busby’s inactivity in replacing aging players.

Peak value today – £150-200 million

8. Brian Kidd – Inside Right. The final was the night of his 19th birthday and, as we all know, he celebrated by scoring the third goal. He was another of those useful players who would score a lot of goals without being a particularly brilliant player. Played for City, Arsenal and Everton during a long career and thus became one of the few to play in the Manchester, Merseyside and London derbies.

Peak value today – £25-30 million

9. Bobby Charlton – Centre Forward. United captain and scorer of two of the four goals, he had also scored the two goals which had taken England to the final of the World Cup two years previously. An excellent striker of the ball with both feet and a player who was only booked once in his entire career of 758 games for United, (that booking was not reported by the referee so, technically speaking, he was never booked).

Peak value today – £80-100 million

10.David Sadler – Inside Left. Although he wore the number 10 Sadler was very much a utility player, as they were known back then. He could play a number of positions both in defence and attack which made him a useful player to have around. He was however, as is often the case, a jack of all trades but a master of none.

Peak value today – £10-12 million

11.Johnny Aston – Left Wing. Probably the worst United player at the time and was often the cause of thousands of groans from the home fans! He was to have his best game ever that night because the Portuguese had never come up against a player who just kicked the ball past them on one side then ran round them on the other.

Peak value today – £5-10 million

So there you have it. A team that would now be worth a combined £375-487 million, or more, or less, depending on your memory of them and/or your point of view.

Not too shabby, especially when you take into consideration the fact that Denis Law wasn’t in the team. (He watched the game on TV in the hospital where he was recovering from injury).

Let us know in the comments if you agree with this valuation or not.

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Comments
  1. James Taylor says:

    I have to know. How much do you think Law would have been worth?

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  2. That’s one of the more difficult ones because he was an out-and-out goalscorer which is usually the most expensive nowadays. Based on the likes of Morata, Lukaku and the valuation of Harry Kane, I would have to put Law somewhere in the region of £80-100 million. He wasn’t as good a footballer as either Charlton or Best but he would guarantee you goals which is what would make him so valuable.

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