Manchester United fans plan Sir Matt Busby tribute in Rome

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Manchester United have received permission from UEFA to make a stunning tribute to the late Sir Matt Busby, who would have been 100 years old the day before the Champions League final in Rome.

Supporters will hold up 16,000 cards before kick-off to form a mosaic which will spell out "For Sir Matt" and include a giant portrait of the man who has been described by Sir Alex Ferguson as "the heartbeat of Manchester United".

"We wanted to do something to mark Sir Matt's 100th birthday and we were approached by the fans with an idea that would recognise the role he had played in the club's unique place in Europe," United chief executive David Gill said.

"Alex liked the idea straight away. The mosaic will remind millions of people around the world what a great man Sir Matt was."

United have also invited Sir Matt's son, Sandy, and daughter Sheena to be the club's guests in Rome and attend a dinner with the club's directors on Tuesday evening.

"It's going to be really heart-rending when the mosaic is lifted up and I'm sure there are going to be a few tears from my sister and myself," said Sandy.

"My dad would have been so proud and pleased. He was a sentimental man and he would be absolutely delighted that the fans still remember him with such affection and still sing songs in his honour but this is something else – he will be the proudest man in heaven."

Sir Matt, who died in 1994, won the club their first European Cup in 1968 by beating Benfica 4–1 at Wembley. United won the Cup for the second time on what would have been his 90th birthday, May 26, 1999.

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