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David Sadler 1963-1974 335 games 27 goals

November 15, 2009

Written by: Robi Prosser

As a youngster, David Sadler was much pursued by scouts. He made his debut for England at amateur level in 1962, aged only 16. In 1963 he joined Busby’s first-team as a replacement for David Herd. Although Sadler was a capable striker, with a hat-trick in that season’s FA Youth Cup campaign, he truly found he role in central defence. His pace and range exetended far into the midfield and could add weight to the attack aswell. An unflappable analyst of the game, Sadler lent United’s defence a maturity well beyond his years. He disabled attacks with cunning and resource, and he could shift the balance of a game with a single pass.
For a popular man, David Sadler had an unexpected knack of perplexing some of his Old Trafford team-mates. There was no doubting his ability or commitment. But a few of the more demonstrative characters to play for United during David’s decade at the club never ceased to be astonished by a coolness in he face of provocation which at times bordered on serenity, thats a quality rarely evident in the highly competitive world of professional football.
In fact David, certainly a model professional in deed and attitude, was also blessed with the most commendable attributes of the archetyal amateur sportsman. Hardly suprising, perhaps, as he was an England amateur international center-forward in his pre-United days.
David played for England at center-half but was at his best alongside the stopper, where his fine touch, cultured passing and intelligence came into their own. His greatest club honour was winning the European Cup in 1968.
He was possibly prevented from reaching the very top class by a lack of ruthlessness, but went on to play more than 300 games for United, Ironically after he left United for Preston North End, David played some of his most accomplished football

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