Although Walter Crickmer never assumed the title of Manager of Manchester United, he twice dovetailed the duties of team selection with those of his post as club Secretary. One of the finest administrators in United's history, Crickmer first took charge of the team, along with Louis Rocca, in 1931-32, between the reigns of Herbert Bamlett and Scott Duncan.
After Duncan resigned in November 1937, United were without a Manager until the appointment of Matt Busby in 1945. Once again, Crickmer helped out with the playing affairs, and his job took him through the troubled years of 1939-45.
It was Crickmer (together with club owner James W. Gibson) who in 1938 instituted the famous United youth policy that served the club so well in subsequent years. Ironically, after 32 years of service as club secretary, Crickmer was killed in the Munich Air Disaster on February 6, 1958 - the crash made infamous by the loss of 'The Busby Babes' - one of the greatest products youth teams ever to play the game.