The Welsh Connection


By Andrew Hyslop

  • 44 Welshmen have pulled on the Red of Manchester United
  • We know about Giggs and Hughes
  • Who are the others?

Here at Sir Alex Ferguson Way we are celebrating St David’s Day by looking back at some of the Welsh players that represented Manchester United.

In all they have been forty-four men born in Wales that have played for Manchester United down the years. Starting with John ‘Jack’ Powell in 1886 right through to Reagan Poole who made his debut last season.

The best known Welshman to have represented Manchester United is the club’s record appearance maker Ryan Giggs, but who are some of the other Welsh Dragons that have become Red Devils?

Billy Meredith

William Henry Meredith represented Manchester United between 1906 and 1921. Making 335 appearances for the club and scoring 36 goals. This makes him third in appearances made for Manchester United by a Welshman, behind Ryan Giggs and Mark Hughes.

Meredith was born in 1874 in Chirk, a small town in Denbighshire, just south of Wrexham. After playing for United’s neighbours Manchester City between 1894 and 1906 he moved to Manchester United on a free transfer.

Meredith wasn’t the only Manchester City player to move to Manchester United and Meredith provided an assist for Sandy Turnbull as both men made their debuts in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

The 1907/08 season saw Manchester United winning the First Division as Meredith became a key figure in the team. The start of the following season saw United lift the Charity Shield (Community Shield). Becoming the first winners.

The 1907/08 season was Meredith’s most prolific in front of goal as scored eleven of his 36 goals for the club. The following season saw Manchester United struggling in the league but they did win the FA Cup. Beating Bristol City in the Final.

The 1910/11 season saw Meredith and Manchester United becoming First Division champions once more and winning the Charity Shield at the start of the 1911/12 season. These would be his last pieces of silverware in a United shirt.

Meredith also represented his country on 39 occasions and scored 10 goals.

Micky Thomas

Michael Reginald Thomas played for Manchester United between 1978 and 1981 after joining the club from Wrexham where he had been since the age of 15.

Thomas helped Wrexham establish a giant-killing reputation as they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1974. Two years later Thomas and Wrexham reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup.

After helping the club win the Third Division title in the 1977/78 season. Thomas was signed by United manager Dave Sexton in the November of 1978.

Thomas would go on to make 110 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 15 goals. The closest United and Thomas got to any silverware came in the 1979 FA Cup. Reaching the final but losing 3-2 to Arsenal at Wembley.

During in his career, Thomas earnt 51 caps for Wales and scored four goals for his country.

Clayton Blackmore

Clayton Graham Blackmore spent 20 years at Old Trafford between 1983 and 1993 after joining the club as a 14 year-old.

Blackmore made his Manchester United debut as an 19 year-old in the club’s 2-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on May 16 1984.

He had the ability to play in a number of positions in defence and midfield.

Blackmore didn’t get a serious run in the Manchester United first-team until the 1987/88 season by which time Alex Ferguson was the manager.

After helping the club win the 1990 FA Cup, he also picked a European Cup Winners Cup medal in 1991.

By the time Manchester United won the 1992/93 Premier League title, Blackmore was no longer a regular.

Though he made enough appearances to collect a winners medal. With the majority of his appearances coming from the bench.

In his career, Blackmore played 39 time for Wales and score one goal.

For a full list of all the Welshmen to play for Manchester United click here

About Andrew Hyslop 398 Articles

Creator of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and writer of football books

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