Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

Our main image this week shows Manchester United winger George Best receiving the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy for being European Footballer of the Year.

The date is April 1969, just before the league match against Burnley which the Red Devils won 2-0. Best was on the scoresheet along with an own goal from Colin Waldron.

Sharing the spotlight with Best are fellow players and previous Ballon d’Or winners Bobby Charlton, suited, and Denis Law. Charlton was awarded the coveted trophy in 1966, England’s World Cup-winning year, and Law in 1964.

Watching the proceedings with pride is outgoing United manager Sir Matt Busby. He was stepping down at the end of the season after 24 years at the helm to be replaced by Wilf McGuinness.

Manchester United 1969
Manchester United Football Players George Best - Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law
Fast forward 31 years to August 2000 and Best, Charlton and Law are back on the Old Trafford pitch once again to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from the club.

The presentation took place at half time during the Premier League match between the Red Devils and Newcastle United. The result was again a 2-0 win for United with goals from Andrew Cole and Ronny Johnsen.

Known as the United Trinity, Best, Charlton and Law are commemorated by a statue unveiled outside Old Trafford in 2008.

Team-mate Paddy Crerand summed them up by saying: ‘However tough the match was, you always knew Bobby could unleash one of his strikes from God-knows-where, Denis would make something out of nothing inside the box or George would just do something magical’.

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.

It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.