A legendary goalscorer and Busby Babe, Dennis Viollet's career took in tragedy and triumph in equal measure. As a player he thrilled thousands as an outstanding teenage footballer with Manchester United's all-conquering Babes, developing an almost telepathic understanding with fellow striker Tommy Taylor. Later, after surviving the Munich air disaster, Viollet broke Manchester United's record for goals in a season - a mark he still holds despite the attempts of Van Nistlerooy, Law, Cantona, Hughes and Cole. Along with Wilf McGuinness, Dennis campaigned for the abolition of the maximum wage which saw United's greatest ever goal-poacher on wages of GBP20 per week. But by 1961 Dennis was mysteriously transferred from Old Trafford without a word from Matt Busby, the club or a good luck farewell from fans - United even denied the goalscoring legend a testimonial. Rather than dwell on his misfortune however, Dennis began a second career at Stoke City alongside Sir Stanley Matthews. There he helped the Potters win promotion back to Division One and, once he hung his boots up in 1967, received the testimonial he should have received in Manchester.
In the second half of his life Dennis became 'Coach Viollet', a respected member of the British coaching establishment in the United States. But in 1998 Dennis fell ill and died, after a painful illness, in his adopted home of Florida in March 1999. A gentleman footballer from a bygone age, Dennis was a loveable rogue, a charmer in turn of both the opposite sex and opposing defences: Dennis didn't so much bludgeon opposing defenders as pick their pockets. In this respect he was ahead of his time, a Manchester lad with the brains, style and skills of a continental forward.
Born in Salford, Roy Cavanagh first saw United play in 1954 and is a regular contributor to the United Review. An accomplished after dinner speaker and compere, this is Roy's 10th book. He is married to Barbara, they have two sons -- Duncan and Martin -- and two grandchildren -- Claire and Sam. Brian Hughes MBE is the celebrated author of five football books and a world class boxing trainer. Brian has worked tirelessly for the Collyhurst and Moston Lads Club for 40 years. He is married to Rosemary, they have 4 children.