Tony Dunne, Europe's fastest defenseman in the 1960s, dies


The Irish, champion of Europe with Manchester United in 1968, is the eighth 'red devil' with the most games in history (535).

 Dunne, wearing the United shirt, in the late 1960s.

Dunne, wearing the United shirt, in the late 1960s.

The Irish Tony Dunne champion of Europe with Manchester United in 1968, he passed away Tuesday at age 78, the Premier League confirmed. The winger, who was barely over 1.65 in height, completed an exemplary career in the legendary team led by Sir Matt Busby with 535 games, a record only exceeded by Ryan Giggs , Bobby Charlton Paul Scholes Bill Foulkes Gary Neville Wayne Rooney and Alex Stepney .

Charlton, the captain of that United who overthrew Benfica (4-1), defined Dunne at the time as "the fastest defense in Europe". His consistency on the left flank was so consistent that he only missed six league games in four seasons, making it essential in the 1965 and 1967 titles. Previously, that formidable team also beat Leicester City to win the FA Cup in 1963.

Dunne had landed at Old Trafford three years earlier, in the process of rebuilding the club after the 1958 area tragedy in Munich. After unseating Shay Brennan this dublins confirmed himself as one of the most important defenders on the continent, while United, after a tough semi-final resolved against Real Madrid at Bernabu (3-3) it was finally touching glory in the Wembley final.

Sad distancing

In 1969, Dunne was elected Irish footballer of the year, an unusual milestone for a defender at the time. With his team he played 33 games over 13 years. However, his adventures with United ended unexpectedly in 1973, perhaps due to his strained relationship with Tommy Docherty a 'red devils' technician.

His next destination was the Bolton Wanderers, where he played almost 200 games, including in the English Second Division. In 1978, he crossed the Atlantic to try his luck with the Detroit Express of the North American Soccer League (NASL).

Dunne's rancor with the Old Trafford club was also personalized with Busby, whom he accused of not having respected its hierarchy. His estrangement materialized in 1999, when he rejected the club's invitation to travel to Barcelona for the final against Bayern Munich.

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