December 22, 1943:
Women from the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and local soldiers brighten the lives of children at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, during the dark days of World War II.
The ATS made dozens of toys to share at Christmas while waiting on standby at anti-aircraft batteries across the city.
They even managed to find a banana during rationing for three-year-old Freddie Conroy, whose illness meant he could only eat certain foods.
What better tonic for the festive season!
December 23, 1969:
Hundreds of children were shouting for George Best at a charity children’s party at the Odeon cinema in Manchester – but the Northern Irish international was ill with flu.
Instead, Best’s ex-girlfriend Eva Haralsted entertained the youngsters along with fellow footballer Mike Summerbee from local rivals Manchester City.
The two wingers were great friends. Best was best man at Summerbee’s wedding to Tina Schofield in September 1963.
December 29, 1969:
Watch out George! Ipswich defender Mick Mills hammers out a warning to Manchester United’s mercurial winger ahead of the third round FA Cup match at Portman Road.
The publicity stunt paid off for Mills. Even though United won a closely fought encounter 1-0, they only triumphed thanks to an own goal.
The Red Devils went on to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup, going out 0-1 to Leeds United after two replays.
The original match at Hillsborough, Sheffield, ended 0-0 as did the replay at Villa Park. The second replay was held at Burnden Park, Bolton. Leeds midfielder Billy Bremner broke the deadlock.