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Manchester United have become the first English club to win the European Cup beating Portuguese side Benfica by four goals to one. Ten years after the Munich air crash, which killed eight of Matt Busby’s young team, Manchester United have reached the pinnacle of European football.

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Celtic became the first Scottish and British club to win the cup the previous year. United’s star player, George Best, was named European Footballer of the Year – just a fortnight after being named the football writers’ Footballer of the Year.

Massive Crowd

Tonight’s match at Wembley was watched by a crowd of 100,000 and an estimated 250 million TV viewers. It was the biggest television audience since the World Cup final two years before. As both teams wear red kit, United opted to play in their blue away strip for the game.

The first half passed in a flurry of fouls before Bobby Charlton headed the opening goal in the second half to make it 1-0. With only 10 minutes left to go, Benfica scored the equaliser – and very nearly won the match when their feared striker Eusebio broke away from Nobby Stiles, the player tasked with marking him, and blasted the ball towards the net.But it was saved by keeper Alex Stepney and the game went into extra time.

Winning Goal

Two minutes into extra time Best put United ahead again, slipping round the keeper and gently tapping it over the line.It was followed by two more United goals, from 19-year-old Brian Kidd and captain Bobby Charlton, taking the final score to 4-1.Manager Matt Busby said: "They’ve done us proud. They came back with all their hearts to show everyone what Manchester United are made of. This is the most wonderful thing that has happened in my life and I am the proudest man in England tonight."

Busby was seriously injured in the crash which claimed the lives of his so-called Busby Babes and there was speculation at the time that the club had been so badly damaged it would have to fold.But they struggled on to complete the 1958/59 season and when Busby returned to the manager’s role the following season he began the task of rebuilding the side.The club won the league in 1965 and 1967, but today’s win marks the pinnacle of the club’s achievements.Charlton and Bill Foulkes were the only survivors of the crash who played in today’s final.

In Context

The European Cup marked the highlight of Matt Busby’s long career at Manchester United and he later received a knighthood. He retired after the following season to become the club’s general manager.

716-manu_03For George Best it was the highlight of his footballing career. The same year he was also named European Footballer of the Year. He was regarded by many as one of the greatest footballing talents in the world, ranked alongside the Brazilian great Pele. He was the first footballer to gain superstar status – but his fame led him into a life of womanising and alcohol. By 1972 he had announced his retirement from the game – he returned to United a year later but by early 1974 he had left for good. In 2002 he had a liver transplant. He died in November 2005.

Bobby Charlton had a distinguished playing career for England and Manchester United. He scored 48 goals for England, a record which still stands. He was knighted in 1994.

Text from BBCs OnThisDay

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BBC has produced their final episode of “Hercules Poirot” based on Agatha Christie’s master detective. Luckily they have produced enough episodes to keep us in reruns for years on end – Ted

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The four members of the British hit band, the Beatles, have arrived in New York at the start of their first tour of the United States. The young men, with their now infamous mop-head hairstyles, stepped onto the tarmac at Kennedy Airport just after 1300 local time. There were more than 3,000 screaming teenagers at the airport. Many had skipped school or work. Some were in tears and some were carrying placards with phrases such as "I love you, please stay".

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The Beatles’ first scheduled appearance will be on American television on Sunday on the Ed Sullivan show. He apparently booked them to appear after seeing the huge crowds who greeted their return to Heathrow from Sweden last October.

Security barriers
More than 5,000 fans applied for tickets to be part of the audience for the live show – only 750 were lucky enough to get them.The Beatles – Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison – received maximum police protection, the kind of arrangement usually produced for kings and presidents.

There were security barriers too, without which, the Beatles would almost certainly have been crushed by the throng of screaming women.  Elsewhere in the United States, excitement over the Beatles’ arrival has reached almost fever-pitch. Their songs are playing constantly on radio stations, in shops and other places of work.

Millions of Beatle records have already been sold and a company called Puritan Fashions Incorporated, which describes itself as "the only exclusive official licensed manufacturer of Beatle wearing apparel" is marketing T-shirts, sweat shirts, turtle-neck sweaters, tight-legged trousers, night shirts, scarves and jewellery inspired by the Beatles.

Beatle wigs are also for sale at $2.99 each – or the equivalent of one guinea.

In Context
The Beatles were the first British band to break into the American market. Their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show reportedly led to a dip in the crime rate to a 50-year low as 73 million people or 40% of Americans tuned into watch. They performed the songs All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

The band appeared twice on the Ed Sullivan show and their performances still rate as the second and third most-watched programmes in the history of US TV. Only the 1983 final episode of Korean war comedy MASH achieved more viewers

In February 2004, the Beatles were given the President’s Award at the Grammys to mark the 40th anniversary of what became known as "Beatlemania". It was accepted by the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.

Text from BBC’s On This Day

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423_sidSex Pistols’ bass player Sid Vicious has died of a heroin overdose in New York. His mother, Anne Beverley, found him dead in bed with his sleeping girlfriend in an apartment in Greenwich Village this morning.

There had been a party in the flat to celebrate Mr Vicious’ release on $50,000 bail yesterday pending his trial for the murder of his former girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, last October. The precise details of his death are unknown but party guests say Sid Vicious – real name John Simon Ritchie – took some heroin at midnight.

His mother, once a registered addict, said: "He knew the smack was pure and strong and took a lot less than usual." Shortly after taking the drug Mr Vicious, 21, collapsed, went into seizure and displayed the symptoms of overdose.

He revived 40 minutes later and went to bed with his girlfriend, Michelle Robinson, at about 0300 local time. The first police officer on the scene later in the morning was Robert Zink who discovered "a syringe, a spoon and what is probably residue near the body."

In retrospect he was obviously far safer in jail
Spokesperson for Virgin Records

The troubled punk musician – renowned for his violent behaviour – had been on a detoxification, methadone programme in prison, but he had developed a £40 a day habit since meeting Miss Spungen last year. It was the second time Virgin Records – the Sex Pistols’ label – had to bail out Sid Vicious.

He was re-arrested after his initial bail for assaulting Patti Smith’s brother, Todd, in a New York disco and had just served another 55 days in prison. A spokesman for Virgin boss Richard Branson said: "In retrospect he was obviously far safer in jail where the temptations that ultimately killed him were not present." Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McClaren – who was planning a comeback for the band – also blames the person who gave him the heroin at the party.

In Context
The autopsy confirmed Sid Vicious died from an accumulation of fluid on the lungs, characteristic of heroin abuse. Anne Beverley and Malcolm McClaren were involved in a wrangle over where Vicious should be buried.

Mr McClaren thought he should be buried in London, his home town, but Vicious’ wish was to be buried with Nancy Spungen in Philadelphia. Ms Beverley scattered her son’s ashes in the Jewish graveyard where Ms Spungen had been interred, without seeking the family’s permission.

The Sex Pistols re-formed for their 20th anniversary in 1996 with original bassist Glen Matlock taking the place of Sid Vicious.

Text from BBC’s On This Day

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336_acThe most popular novelist in the world, Dame Agatha Christie, has died leaving rumours of a multi-million pound fortune and a final book waiting to be published. The British author, who sold an estimated 300 million books during her lifetime, had been in poor health for several years. She died at her home in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, aged 85.

Two London theatres dimmed their lights this evening – St Martin’s where her record-breaking "The Mousetrap" is now in its 24th year and the Savoy, where "Murder at the Vicarage" will have its 200th performance next week. Dame Agatha is believed to have left one last novel, as yet unpublished, featuring one of her most famous characters, the deceptively clever Miss Marple, as well as an autobiography.

Police search
During her lifetime, Dame Agatha published 83 books, including novels, romances written under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott, short stories, poetry and the scripts for her plays. She married Colonel Archibald Christie in 1914. While he was away during the war she worked as a nurse at her local hospital in Torquay, where she learned about the poisons that later featured in so many of her crime novels.

336_hpDame Agatha established her name as a crime writer with her first detective book in 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in which she created her much-loved Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. In December 1926 she sparked a police search when her car was found abandoned in a chalk pit at Newlands Corner on the Surrey Downs.

It emerged she and her husband had had a row. Several days later she turned up in a hotel in Harrogate booked in under the name of a woman who was revealed to be her husband’s mistress. She divorced and married again, well-known archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan, and divided her life between several country and town homes, archaeological digs and the regular production of one thriller a year.

She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. Newspaper estimates of her fortune vary, but in the late 1950s she was reputed to be earning about £100,000 a year. The hugely successful play Mousetrap – first written as a radio sketch called Three Blind Mice for the 80th birthday of Queen Mary – is said to have made more than £3m. She gave the proceeds to her only grandson, Matthew Prichard.

She was known to be a shrewd businesswoman, anxious to avoid leaving too much of her personal fortune to the taxman. She once said: "I only write one book a year now, which is sufficient to give me a good income. If I wrote more, I’d enlarge the finances of the Inland Revenue who would spent it mostly on idiotic things." In 1955 she formed a company, Agatha Christie Ltd and to save its dividends from tax, she later sold 51% to Booker McConnell, a firm best known as sugar giants but also with other investments including authors’ copyrights.

In Context
Dame Agatha Christie’s will was published on 30 April 1976 and revealed she had left only £106,683, having managed to dispose of most of her wealth before she died. She left most of her property to her husband and daughter with a number of smaller bequests such as £500 to her gardener, £250 to her secretary and £200 to her garden manager.

Sleeping Murder, Miss Marple’s last case, was published after her death. Her autobiography was also published posthumously. Her legacy lives on in Torquay, Devon, where her daughter by her first marriage Rosalind Hicks lived until her death in 2004. Today there is a museum and a bronze bust of the author at the harbourside. Her only grandson, Matthew Pritchard, is chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd.

Text from BBC’s On This Day

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Donald Campbell has been killed a split second before breaking his own water speed record in his jet-powered boat, the Bluebird K7. He was travelling at more than 300mph (483 km/h) on Coniston Water when the boat was catapulted 50ft (15m) into the air after its nose lifted.

Forty-six-year-old Mr Campbell was killed instantly as the boat hit the water and immediately disintegrated.

        
 Donald was going into the unknown and he was well aware of the risks  Norman Buckley

He was just 200 yards (183m) from the end of the second leg of his attempt when the accident happened. On the first leg he had reached speeds of 297mph (478km/h), which meant he had to top 308mph (496km/h) on the return journey. Initial reports suggest he had actually reached speeds of up to 320mph (515km/h).

This means the water speed record of 276.33mph (444.61km/h), which Campbell himself set in Australia in 1964, remains unbroken as both legs of the attempt were not completed. Had he broken this barrier it would have been his eighth world water speed record.

Divers have attempted to recover Mr Campbell’s body which is submerged in more than 120ft (37m) of water, but as yet have been unable to locate him.

Norman Buckley, chief observer for the attempt and holder of five water speed records, said: "Donald wanted to put the record so high that it would be unassailable by any foreign competitor.

"I think conditions were as perfect as I have seen them on Coniston, but Donald was going into the unknown and he was well aware of the risks."

In Context
Donald Campbell’s body was not recovered until 2001 – 34 years after his death. On hearing the news that her father’s body had been found, his daughter Gina said she was "totally relieved".

The boat and Mr Campbell’s remains were recovered from the water and Mr Campbell was buried near Coniston water following a funeral service. Two months later his daughter, herself a water speed champion, vowed to restore Bluebird in her father’s memory.

Donald Campbell is still the only person to hold both land and water speed records at the same time. And, although he is the last British man to break the world record, in 1978 it passed to Australia when Ken Warby reached a speed of 317.6mph (511.1km/h).

Text from BBC’s On This Day

In context 2:
Donald Campbell’s daughter claims Bluebird pilot plundered her trust fund to finance his lavish lifestyle

353_campbellsShe grew up in the shadow of greatness.But for the daughter of legendary speed icon Donald Campbell her upbringing was anything but great.

In an autobiography due to be published next week 63-year-old Gina Campbell lays bare a tormented childhood and chronicles three failed marriages and a suicide attempt. She reveals how her father mysteriously emptied her trust fund before he tragically died in January 1967 on Coniston Water and how the debonair dare-devil sacrificed her and his family in the pursuit of glory.

Yet, she does not blame him.Nor does she resent Bluebird K7, the speedboat that cart-wheeled so spectacularly across the water during that ill-fated world speed record attempt 45 years ago.‘To a large degree it was a very hard childhood,’ she told the Mail yesterday. ‘I didn’t see it back then. I had nothing to compare it to.

‘The family life, the love and care of a mother and father just wasn’t there. ‘My mother didn’t even like me most of the time, let alone love me.‘And my father never displayed any affection towards me, never put his arm around me, never sat me on his knee, never praised me.

‘Bluebird was always paramount in his thoughts, feelings and actions. It had to be. It was his tour de force, his raison d’etre. I was there and Bluebird was there and he chose Bluebird.

‘That’s not to say my father was a bad father.‘I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread and amongst the low lows there were massive highs. But yes, some things were strange, different, unorthodox.’

Context 2 text and image: MailOnline

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245_Rosa Parks_thumb[1]A black woman has been arrested by police in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white person. Mrs Rosa Parks now faces a fine for breaking the segregation laws which say black Americans must vacate their seats if there are white passengers left standing. It is not the first time Mrs Parks, who is a seamstress, has defied the law on segregation.

In 1943 she was thrown off a bus for refusing to get on via the back door, which was reserved for black passengers. She became known to other drivers who sometimes refused to let her on.

Today Mrs Parks left Mongomery Fair, the department store where she was employed doing repairs on men’s clothing, as usual. She said she was tired after work and suffered aches and pains in her shoulders, back and neck. When she got on the bus she realised the driver was the same man, James Blake, who had thrown her off twelve years before.

As more white people got on and the seats filled up, he asked her to give up her seat and she refused. He threatened to call the police and she told him to go ahead. She was subsequently arrested and charged with violating segregation law. She will now appear in court on Monday 5 December.

Mrs Parks is a youth leader of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and her husband, Raymond, a barber, has taken part in voter registration drives.

In Context
Five days later, thousands of black citizens boycotted the buses in Alabama – to mark the day Mrs Parks was due in court. She was fined $10 (the equivalent of about $70 in 2003), plus $4 costs. She challenged the verdict and the NAACP decided to use her case as a test against city and state segregation laws.

Later that same evening, the young preacher Martin Luther King addressed a crowd of several thousand at Holt Street Baptist Church and called for the boycott to continue. Nearly all Montgomery’s 40,000 black citizens took part in the bus boycott, which lasted for 381 days.

On 20 December the Supreme court upheld the decision of a lower court to end segregation on Alabama’s buses. Mrs Parks was sacked from her job and in 1957 left Montgomery for Detroit following harassment. She later became a special assistant to Democratic congressman John Conyers until her retirement in 1988. She died in October 2005 – an icon for the civil rights movement – almost exactly 50 years after her famous bus boycott began.

Text from BBCs On This Day

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