On this day in 1970, George Best scored six times as Manchester United beat Northampton Town 8-2 in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Best had been suspended for four weeks for kicking the ball out of the referee’s hands and was very eager to return to action. Northampton keeper Kim Book had his work cut out as Best was in an unforgiving mood. The six goals included fantastic headers, delightful finesse and trademark runs from Best that eluded the Northampton defenders before he put the ball in the back of the net. The Northern Irish international single-handedly destroyed a hapless Northampton defence.
United went on to play the semi-finals against Leeds United but were narrowly beaten 1-0 after two scoreless replays.
United sign Albert Pape
On this day in 1925, Manchester United completed the signing of Albert Pape in stunning fashion.
Born in South Yorkshire, Pape began his senior professional career with Rotherham County before moving to Notts County in 1923. A year of irregular football with County forced him to switch clubs and he joined Clapton Orient (later Leyton Orient).
In 1925, Orient travelled to Manchester to play United at Old Trafford. United had recently sold their striker Bill Henderson to Preston North End and were looking to add to their attacking arsenal. Club manager John Chapman decided to make a phone call to his Orient counterpart Peter Proudfoot before the O’s left London.
Chapman and Proudfoot had a chat over Pape’s availability and the two clubs quickly agreed upon a fee of £1,070. Pape was friends with United captain Frank Barson and had relatives in the Bolton area. He quickly agreed to the terms of his contract after getting off at Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.
The details of the signing were wired to the offices of the Football Association and the Football League by 1:30 PM. Pape had been named in Orient’s starting XI to play United later that day but was confirmed as a United signing an hour before kick-off. What is even more amusing is the fact that Pape started the game in Manchester United colours against Orient and scored as United won 4-2.