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'Big Dunc' remembered as United visit Wolves

When Manchester United visit Wolves on Saturday it will be one day short of the Munich anniversary and unlike some other cretins around the country, you can be certain fans at Molineux will mark that solemn occasion with the utmost respect. Apart from the tragedy itself, Wolverhampton lost one of their own who is still revered to this very day. Duncan Edwards was born in the town of Dudley just south of the city and had it not been for the persistence of United manager Sir Matt Busby, the youngster could have easily signed for the Wolves. The story goes that Busby arrived at the Edwards family home soon after midnight to make sure that he secures the youngster’s signature

Sir Matts determination paid full dividends as Edwards became the youngest player to appear in First Division football and the then youngest England player since the War. In a professional career of less than five years he helped United win two Football League championships and reach the semi finals of the European Cup. Although he initially survived the Munich crash he died as a result of his injuries 15 days later at the age of 21.

There are many who were fortunate enough to play with or against Edwards and those who simply had the chance of watching him develop, who still insist that Big Dunc was the greatest footballer to ever be produced by England. Old Trafford legend Sir Bobby Charlton simply says that “he was the only player that made me feel inferior” and said his death was “the biggest single tragedy ever to happen to Manchester United and English football”

In Edwards’ home town of Dudley, a statue of the United legend was erected in 1999, which was unveiled by his mother and Sir Bobby. For those who watched Edwards play, he is the greatest ever and is in the thoughts of many on another anniversary of that didaster.

It’s also generally beyond dispute that barring unforseen circumstances, it would have been Edwards instead of the great Bobby Moore who would have become the only English player to lift the World Cup eight years following his death. No wonder the people of Wolverhampton as well as Manchester remain in awe of the young man who was taken away far too soon.

Was Edwards the greatest England player ever?


6 Responses to “'Big Dunc' remembered as United visit Wolves”

  1. RedScot says:

    This is not an article for me to comment on.I shall simply show it the deserved respect, acknowledge , that I read it.I would so wish that a gentleman I so admire on ROM, The wonderful Giles Oakley, could see the article and add one of his fabulous comments.

  2. Bred Red says:

    I saw Big Dunc play a number of games. he really was the best. I once wagged it off school to go to O.T to get some autographs and ended up in a mini kick about with quite a few of the lads. I was devasted 14 year old whenn I heard about the disaster and more so after the Big Dunc passed to that special stadium in the sky, reserved for only the best of the best.

    I even named my son Duncan Edward after this gianr of a footballer. No masive ego’s or pretentions in those days. I recall viidly catching the train
    just outside the ground and sitting in the same compartment with Albert Scanlan & David Pegg. I guess on a tenner a week they were just normal kids on their way home after playing a match for the love of the game.

    Now almost 70 years old I have continued to support United even though living 12,000 miles away and have countless memories of the different teams, but in my memory none can surpass the superlative Busby Babes.

  3. Frank Scicluna says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories with us Bred Red, it’s wonderful to hear from people who actually saw players like Dunc in the flesh. I was the same age as yourself when Munich happened but living in far away Australia so I never had the fortune of watching him play. Even television footage was almost non existent in those days. I have also remained committed to United ever since. The club was at it’s lowest ebb then but there are those who still insult us with the tag of being Glory Hunters.

  4. Bred Red says:

    Hi Frank,

    I am a Salford lad and my memories are extensive where United ar concened, Dragged up in Lower Broughton always managed to get around to see away games at Blackburn, Bolton, Blackpool and City. F.A Cup matches saw me on a train to far flung reaches of England to see United play the liks of Newcastle and Huddersfield. Even made it into Craven Cottage for one memorable matcvh justbefore ICAme to Ausralia. My one regret is never being able to get enough ‘coupons’ together to get into Wembley for a United Cup Final.

    How could I ‘afford’ the luxury of following my dream team? I worked on a bike with a basket attached delivering groceris for Williams the Grocers in Great Clowes Street, to homes around the Lower Broughton area. Got to be honest, the odd platform ticket 1d came in handy getting to grounds in the Birmingham area, naughty naughty. Even got to Molineaux by that mode of transport and what a team the olves had in those days, even the Captain of England played for then and wow, who can forget pint sized Johnny Hancocks belting down the wing for Wolves.

    Memories Frank, yes good memories Mate.

  5. Frank Scicluna says:

    Love to reminisce about the old days Bred. Having never lived in England, my memories are only based on far away ones. I did manage to attend the 1983 FA Cup Final against Brighton however and a couple of visits to Old Trafford as well as The Cliff as a guest of United’s Aussie old boy Mark Bosnich. It seems that the older we get, the more precious those memories become.

  6. Bred Red says:

    True, oh so very true Frank.

    I knew the Cliff very well, in fact my primary school was just about the closest school to the ground and our sports master used to hand out free tickets to the Saturday morning A & B team matches which usually followed Salford Boys matches at the Cliff and much prized reserve Match tickets for O.T.

    It was at the Cliff where I first saw Eddie Coleman play for the Salford Boys team against Stockport Boys. T’was a good match too with Coleman having a blinder.



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