‘Busby’, which tells the story of the Scot’s time at Old Trafford from 1945, through the Busby Babes era and onto the 1968 European Cup, had its world premiere in Manchester on Monday night and will be released digitally and on DVD over the coming days.
The film features journalists, players and others who knew Busby or worked alongside him. Ferguson was famously able to recapture the spirit of Manchester United that his predecessor had laid the foundations for several decades earlier and would therefore have been a valued contributor. But the 13-time Premier League winner was unable to be a part of the project.
According to the Daily Mirror, Ferguson was contacted about being involved but had to decline the invitations because of an ‘ongoing involvement in his own project’. That project is set to be a similar cinematic look at his own illustrious managerial career.
Busby was appointed United boss in 1945, inheriting a club that had flirted with bankruptcy towards end of the previous decade and was left with a home ground that was unusable after being hit during a German bombing raid in the Second World War. His focus on developing young players was considered revolutionary and he was soon revered.
In 1948, Busby delivered United’s first trophy since 1911. He won his first league title in 1952, while his Busby Babes side then collected further back-to-back league titles in 1956 and 1957. From the ashes of the side that sadly perished in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, Busby famously built another great team and led United to European Cup triumph 10 years later.
By the time Ferguson arrived in 1986, the club had lost its way. There had been no further league titles since Busby’s last in 1967 and the United blueprint had become smudged.
Despite early pressure, Ferguson was able to restore the club to its former glory in the way that Busby had envisioned and the two men became close.
Busby died at the age of 84 in 1994, but had lived long enough to see Ferguson win back-to-back Premier League titles and the first glimmerings of a new generation of home-grown talent that would be the backbone or unprecedented further success of another two decades.