It was a Sunday get-together that featured Manchester United royalty. Sir Matt Busby was there and so was Nobby Stiles, amongst others. It was the early 1990s; the venue a wine bar in Sale, and the query was for Stiles, then answerable for the B crew at Outdated Trafford. Who was the most effective up-and-coming teen on the membership?

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Stiles didn’t hesitate. “Ben Thornley,” he replied. What, even together with Ryan Giggs? “Ben is the closest I’ve seen to George Greatest in all my time on the membership,”…

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