Former Manchester United player John Doherty has died at the age of 72, the English Premier League club confirmed on Wednesday.

Doherty, who was a member of the Busby Babes first championship-winning side in 1955/56, made 26 appearances and scored seven goals before he was forced to retire at only 23 because of injury.

He later became chairman of the Association of Former Manchester United Players, and was one of three former players who carried the Premier League trophy on to the Old Trafford pitch for last season's title presentation.

United chief executive David Gill said: "John was a tireless leader of the Association of Former Players and a much loved and popular figure around Old Trafford.

"His work with the Former Players saw the group go from strength to strength. His quick wit and easy manner will be greatly missed.

"It was a special moment for him to be able to bring on the Premier League trophy at the end of last season with his other friends from the Busby Babes' first title-winning team in 1956 for presentation to the team; a role he performed with great pride and dignity.

"Our thoughts are with his family."