Johnny Berry

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Johnny Berry
Personal information
Full name Reginald John Berry
Date of birth (1926-06-01)1 June 1926
Place of birth Aldershot, Hampshire, England
Date of death 16 September 1994(1994-09-16) (aged 68)
Place of death Farnham, Surrey, England
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Playing position Outside right
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1951 Birmingham City 104 (6)
1951–1958 Manchester United 247 (37)
National team
1953–1956 England 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Reginald John "Johnny" Berry (1 June 1926 – 16 September 1994),[1] also listed as John James Berry,[2][3] was an English footballer. Berry joined Manchester United from Birmingham City in 1951. He was a natural right winger, with technique and pace as his strengths. He played 277 matches for Manchester United, scoring 44 goals along the way, including helping Manchester United win three league championships. He played regularly for the first six seasons, before losing his place in the starting XI to youngster Kenny Morgans. Injuries sustained in the Munich air disaster brought his footballing career to an end, at age 31.

When he woke up he was totally unaware of the plane crash, his injuries having caused a light form of amnesia. One month after he regained consciousness, he found out about the crash from seeing a newspaper.[4] He spent two months in hospital with a fractured skull, a broken jaw, a broken elbow, a broken pelvis, and a broken leg. All of his teeth had to be removed while treating his jaw injuries.[4] He only found out which of his teammates had been killed some time after he returned to England. When still in hospital, he would complain to manager Matt Busby that his teammate Tommy Taylor was a poor friend for not visiting him, unaware that Taylor had been killed. Doctors treating Berry felt that he was not well enough to be told that any of his colleagues had died at the time.[5]

His first job after retiring from football was with Massey Ferguson at Trafford Park, but in 1960 he was asked to leave the Manchester United-owned house to accommodate new signing Maurice Setters, and he left the Manchester area to return to Aldershot.

He later ran a sports business with his younger brother Peter in Cove, a village near Aldershot, until the 1980s. Peter was also a professional footballer, most notably with Crystal Palace. Johnny Berry spent the final years of his working life as a storeman in a local warehouse.

Berry died in September 1994, aged 68, after a short illness. He was the first surviving player of the Munich air disaster to have died.

He was survived by his wife Hilda[6] and his sons Neil (who was later the head teacher of Brampton Manor School), Paul and Craig. Neil published a book in 2007, The Forgotten Babe, describing his father's years at Manchester United.[7]

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biddiscombe, Ross; Curry, Patrick; Hayden, Jonathan (2011). The Official Encyclopedia of Manchester United. London: Simon & Schuster. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-84737-918-4. 
  2. ^ Dykes, Garth (1994). The United Alphabet: A Complete Who's Who of Manchester United F.C. Leicester: ACL & Polar Publishing (UK). pp. 32–3. ISBN 0-9514862-6-8. 
  3. ^ McCartney, Iain (2013). The Official Manchester United Players' A-Z. London: Simon & Schuster UK. pp. 37–8. ISBN 978-1-47112-846-2. 
  4. ^ a b Red News profile
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]

External links[edit]