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Players Index Page Last Updated
7 August 2019

Johnny Berry

Manchester United FC

4 appearances, 0 goals

P 4 W 1 D 2 L 1 F 3: A 3
50% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


Full name Reginald John Berry


NOT John James Berry. There is no John James Berry anywhere in any registration born in Aldershot.  His death registration in September 1994 confirms that the Berry born on 1 June 1926 was in fact, Reginald.
By way of confirmation... Johnny's footballing brother, Peter, born in Aldershot at the end of 1933, both his and Reginald's registration both confirm that their mother's maiden name is identical...'O'Connor'.
Born 1 June 1926 in Aldershot, Hampshire [registered as Reginald J., in Farnham, Surrey].
Attended St Joseph's School, Aldershot
Married to Hilda D. Reeves [registered in Aldershot, December 1948]


According to passenger lists, John Berry left Southampton for New York on the Queen Elizabeth, a Cunard White Star ship, on 30 April 1952. Amongst the 1196 was the entire Manchester United FC squad.
Died 16 September 1994 in Farnham, Surrey, aged 68 years 107 days [registered as Reginald J., in Surrey SW, September 1994]. Following a short illness.
Height/Weight 5' 5½", 9st. 9lbs [1951].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Club Career

Club(s) Played schoolboy football in Aldershot, and also played with Aldershot YMCA. He played football in the army, where he was spotted by Birmingham City FC and signed for them in December 1944. After 104 league appearances and six goals, his talents were noted by Matt Busby who paid £25,000 for him to take him to Manchester United FC in August 1951, becoming a Busby Babe. Like many of his teammates, he was involved in the Munich Air disaster, but unlike many of his teammates, Berry survived, but never played football again. He had made 247 league appearances, scoring 37 goals.
Club honours Football League Champions 1951-52, 1955-56, 1956-57; FA Cup runners-up 1956-57
Individual honours Football League (one appearance)
Distinctions Survived the Munich Air Disaster, although it ended his football career.
Brother of Peter Berry (Cyrstal Palace FC and Ipswich Town FC 1952-61)


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of two who became 719th players (720) to appear for England.
Position(s) Outside-left/right
First match No. 277, 17 May 1953, Argentina 0 England 0, an end-of-season tour match at Estadio Monumental, Nuñez, Buenos Aires - abandoned after 36 minutes, aged 26 years 350 days.
Last match No. 304, 16 May 1956, Sweden 0 England 0, an end-of-season tour match at Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna, aged 29 years 350 days.
Major tournaments None
Team honours None
Individual honours England B (one appearance, 1952)
Distinctions The twelfth Hampshirian to represent England.
Died twelve days after Frank Broome and thirteen days after Billy Wright.

On 6th February 1958 the airliner carrying players and backroom staff of Manchester United, plus a number of journalists and supporters, crashed in a blizzard on its third attempt to take off from Munich airport. United were returning from Belgrade where they had just beaten Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup and had stopped off at Munich for re-fuelling. Twenty-three of the forty-four passengers on board the aircraft lost their lives. - Munich Remembered and Never Forgotten - Munich58.co.uk

United Disgrace

His injuries in 1958 meant that he was never able to pursue his career in football again. He took a job with Massey Ferguson in Trafford Park but in 1960, United asked him to vacate their club house in Davyhulme to accommodate the signing of Maurice Setters. It was a sad state of affairs and one that made the Berry family understandably, very bitter. The family moved back to his home town of Aldershot. - Rednews.co.uk

Beyond England

 After leaving school, he had been a projectionist in an Aldershot cinema. And spotted playing football during the war. After his career was curtailed, upon moving back to Aldershot, Johnny opened a sports shop 'Berry's' with his brother Peter in Cove, where he remained for twenty years. He then went onto work as a storeman in a television retail warehouse. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.32./Rednews.co.uk


Johnny Berry - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. Goals goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
7 4 0 306 0 0 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Johnny Berry - Match Record - All Matches - By Colour of Shirt - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Away - White - Friendly 4 1 2 1 3 3 =0 2 2 0.667 0.667 50.0 =0
All 4 1 2 1 3 3 =0 2 2 0.667 0.667 50.0 =0

Match History
 Club: Manchester United F.C. - four full appearances (360 min)

manager: Walter Winterbottom - four full appearances (360 min)x

Age 25
1 b 26 March 1952 - Netherlands 0 England 1, Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam Fr AW Start 7

Age 26
276 18 April 1953 - England 2 Scotland 2, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HD reserve
u/o 14 May 1953 - Buenos Aires XI 3 FA XI 1, Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires
AL Start 7
1 277 17 May 1953 - Argentina 0 England 0, Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires - abandoned after 36 minutes AabD     Start 36 11
2 278 24 May 1953 - Chile 1 England 2, Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago AW Start 11
3 279 31 May 1953 - Uruguay 2 England 1, Estadio Centenario, Montevideo AL Start 11
280 8 June 1953 - United States 3 England 6, Yankee Stadium, New York AW unused sub

Age 29
303 9 May 1956 - England 4 Brazil 2, Empire Stadium, Wembley Fr HW unused sub
4 304 16 May 1956 - Sweden 0 England 0, Råsunda Fotbollstadion, Solna tour AD Start 7
305 20 May 1956 - Finland 1 England 5, Olympiastadion, Helsinki AW unused sub
306 26 May 1956 - West Germany 1 England 3, Olympiastadion, Berlin AW


JOHNNY BERRY survived the 1958 Munich air disaster, but his career as a footballer did not. The injuries he received in the crash, four months before his 32nd birthday, consigned to memory his nimble play on Manchester United's right flank as a seasoned professional in a team of prodigious fledglings.

Matt Busby paid Birmingham City £25,000 for Berry in 1951, when the 'Busby Babes' were but a twinkle in the great manager's eye. The transfer began to take shape in Busby's mind two years earlier, when two goals by Berry helped sabotage United's championship prospects after they had led the First Division by four points going into Easter.

Busby's initial signing, Jimmy Delaney, a 32-year-old Celtic winger, had proved an inspired choice in galvanising the splendid United team of the late 1940s, and the fearless Berry's experience contributed immensely to the club's youth-based success in the 1950s. He won three championship medals and was selected for England on four occasions.

While distinctive in his own merit, Berry typified the diminutive winger: a fast raider with skilful ball control whose low centre of gravity appeared to enable him to bounce up when knocked down. He played during an era prolific in maestros of the wing, and while Stanley Matthews, of Blackpool, and Tom Finney, of Preston, were undoubtedly the most celebrated of the species one has particularly vivid memories of matches between United and Wolverhampton Wanderers featuring Berry in the red jersey and the equally light and lively Johnny Hancocks among the old gold.

Though Berry and David Pegg are remembered as the established wingers in the Busby Babes' team, neither played in the European Cup quarter-final away to Red Star Belgrade, after which the club's chartered Elizabethan crashed on take-off in snow and ice after stopping to refuel at Munich on 6 February 1958. Ken Morgans took Berry's place, and Pegg's left-wing position was occupied by Albert Scanlon. Pegg was among the eight players who died.

After being discharged from hospital in Munich, Berry spent a year in Manchester before returning to Aldershot, his birthplace. He opened a sports outfitting business in partnership with his brother Peter, a former player with Crystal Palace and Ipswich.

Johnny Berry showed early promise playing for St Joseph's School, Aldershot Boys and the YMCA, but on leaving school he worked as a projectionist at a local cinema. It was during service with the Royal Artillery that he was brought to Birmingham City's attention, and he signed as a professional at St Andrews in 1944.

After leaving Manchester, his visits to Old Trafford were rare. He once declared himself to be old-fashioned in thinking football was no longer what it used to be, though he admitted he would be happy to be paid the wages of the modern player. He consoled himself with memories of being one of a vibrant team which thrilled huge crowds. 'I enjoyed my football. Of course I did. I think it's the same in any job - if you have success at it, you enjoy it.' - The Independent Obituary