When Manchester United were a nation’s darlings – and Wolves found out why

We recall how Tommy Docherty’s thrilling team won a 1976 FA Cup classic at Molineux before the sides meet there again

Let’s call it the Smash Hits double. In that beloved pop magazine’s annual poll it was not unusual for artists to be voted the best and worst in the same category. It happened three times in 1989 alone: Bros (best/worst group), Kylie Minogue (female solo singer) and Jason Donovan (male solo singer).

For the past few decades, Manchester United have had a similar relationship with popularity – the best-supported club in England but also the most hated. Yet there was a time in the mid-1970s when their young team were the darlings of the nation.

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