Within living memory, Manchester United have won every major honour available - yet for many supporters of a certain vintage their favourite season of all was spent not battling for top honours but in the second fl ight of English football. Following a spectacular decline following the break-up of the 1968 European Cup winners, United were relegated in April 1974 and the following season was supposed to be a humiliation for the club. Instead, the reds responded by re-inventing themselves for a new era and attracting a whole new generation of supporters.As Wayne Barton discovers, the modern day Manchester United was born during their sojourn in the second tier. From training pitch to boardroom and under the guidance of wise-cracking manager Tommy Docherty, the club moved on from a state of post-war stasis and shaped itself for the next quarter century. Without the pressure to maintain a place in the top fl ight, The Doc helped reinvigorate a club still struggling to come to terms with the modern era.With contributions from manager Tommy Docherty, captain Martin Buchan and fi rst team regulars Brian Greenhoff, Sammy McIlroy, Lou Macari and Arnie Sidebottom - the author discovers that relegation to the Second Division was not quite the fi nancial or footballing nightmare it could have been. Alongside United in the second tier that season were future European champions Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa. Meanwhile United fi nished well ahead of all of them, playing in a refreshing style before record crowds - by April 1975 'The Doc' had revived an ailing patient and set it's pulse racing again and attracted a whole new generation of supporters along the way.