Tony Dunne in an action for the Reds at Old Trafford. Photo manutd.com
LONDON — Former Manchester United defender Tony Dunne, who played in their first European Cup-winning side in 1968, has died at the age of 78.
The Ireland left-back was part of the team that defeated Benfica 4-1 at Wembley in the 1968 final alongside George Best and Bobby Charlton, and under the great United manager Matt Busby.
Dunne was signed by Busby for 5,000 pounds (US$6,400) in 1960 and spent 13 years at Old Trafford, also winning two First Division championships, in 1964-65 and 1966-67, and the 1962-63 FA Cup. He scored only two goals.
Manchester United announced Dunne's death on Twitter late on Monday night.
"One of our greatest-ever full-backs," the post began.
"An integral part of the 1968 European Cup-winning side. A player who made 535 appearances in the red shirt of Manchester United. Our heartfelt condolences go to the loved ones of Tony Dunne. May he rest in peace."
Dublin club Shelbourne, where Dunne started his career, also tweeted their condolences.
"Shelbourne FC is saddened to send our condolences to the family and friends of former FAI Cup winning Shels player Tony Dunne after his passing. Tony had a glittering career. RIP Tony."
Dunne, who won 33 caps for the Republic of Ireland, left Old Trafford on a free transfer in 1973 to join Bolton. He ended his playing career with 12 appearances for Detroit Express in North American Soccer League in 1979.
Bolton, with whom Dunne won the Second Division title, said they were "saddened to learn" of his passing.
Only seven players have made more appearances for United than Dunne's 535 -- Ryan Giggs, Bobby Charlton, Paul Scholes, Bill Foulkes, Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and Alex Stepney. — AFP