February 26, 1977:

Playing Manchester United in the FA Cup proved a gruelling task for Farnworth-born Southampton midfielder and England World Cup hero Alan Ball.

The Fifth Round tie ended in a hard-fought 2-2 draw at the Dell with United’s goals coming from Lou Macari and Gordon Hill. The Red Devils won the replay at Old Trafford 2-1 thanks to two goals from Jimmy Greenhoff.

United, under Tommy Docherty, went on to win the FA Cup by defeating Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley. On the scoresheet for the Red Devils were Greenhoff and Stuart Pearson.

February 26, 1969:

Collyhurst comedian Les Dawson pretends to look downcast and glum at Manchester Opera House after receiving a final tax demand.

In fact, the opposite was true. The 36-year-old funnyman had just landed his biggest job yet – a six-week series of half-hour shows on Yorkshire TV.

Dawson was one of the most familiar faces on TV in the 1970s and 80s with his own weekly show on BBC and Sez Lez on ITV. He also compered the celebrity panel game Blankety Blank.

Les-Dawson

February 26, 1963:

Manchester City forward Matt Gray emerges from the tunnel at Maine Road to take part in a mid-season photo shoot.

Born in Renfrew, Gray had trials with Stirling Albion and played for Third Lanark before joining City in 1963. He made 91 league appearances for the Blues, scoring 21 goals, before emigrating to South Africa in 1967.

In South Africa, he played for Port Elizabeth City and Highlands Park.

Matt-Gray