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Immodest Campbell lets his ego do the talking

Neil Franklin Stoke City. Roger Byrne Manchester United. Duncan Edwards, Colossus (Best XI Legends Book 1) eBook: Sam Pilger: Kindle Store

Alf Ramsey Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. Frank Swift Manchester City. Jimmy Greaves Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Geoff Hurst West Ham United. Bobby Charlton Manchester United. Alan Mullery Tottenham Hotspur. Johnny Haynes Fulham. Ray Wilson Huddersfield Town and Everton. Bobby Moore, captain West Ham United. Paul Madeley Leeds United.

The Busby Babes: Why They Meant So Much To Us All

Bobby Moore West Ham United. Don Howe West Bromwich Albion. Bryan Robson Manchester United. Jimmy Armfield Blackpool. Stan Mortensen Blackpool. Gordon Banks. Jimmy Armfield. Jack Charlton. Peter Shilton. Don Howe. Billy Wright. Ray Clemence. Ray Wilson. Bobby Moore. Roger Byrne. Terry Butcher. Midfield players. Tom Finney. Bobby Charlton. Geoff Hurst.

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Stanley Matthews. Wilf Mannion. Jackie Milburn. John Barnes.

Duncan Edwards .....

Martin Peters. Jimmy Greaves. Johnny Haynes.

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  6. Gary Lineker. Bryan Robson. He was sensational, and it is difficult to convey that. With the colossal at their disposal, it is likely England would have progressed past the group stages in the World Cup had they had Duncan Edwards and the other Manchester United players who had died in the crash at their disposal. I was convinced we were going to win the trophy against Real Madrid at the second time of asking, and I believed that, with him, England would march on to win the World Cup later that year in Sweden.

    He was unstoppable — literally unstoppable. Duncan had everything. He had strength and character that just spilled out of him on the field. Yes, I know the great players — Pele, Maradona, Best, Law, Greaves and my great favourite Alfredo di Stefano — but my point was that he was better in every phase of the game. If you asked such players as Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney about Duncan their answers were always the same: they had seen nothing like him.

    You could play him anywhere and he would slot into that position as if he had been playing there season after season.

    Fools rush in and Neville is no one’s fool

    For all of his tender years, he was the most complete player of his time and it was a tragedy that his life was taken in the Munich disaster of When the going was rough, Duncan would be as unmoved as a rock in a raging sea, but for all of his considerable size, he possessed the most deft of skills. If the goalkeeper kicked the ball downfield, he would be heading it, if there was a corner kick he would be knocking the ball in, and if someone was running through he would be the one to dispossess him.

    So many times he made the rest of us feel like pygmies. He was my first hero. Had he played for longer, England would have had their very own to brag about in this day and age alongside the all-time greats. He never got it in his mind that he was the greatest. He just wanted to play the game because he loved every minute of it. Whatever was needed, he had it. He was immensely powerful. He was prodigiously gifted in the arts and crafts of the game.

    His temperament was perfect. His confidence was supreme and infectious. No opponent was too big or too famous for Duncan. A wing-half, he could have been a great centre-half, or a great forward striker. He would have been one of the great leaders with his sheer inspiration. If there was ever a player who could be called a one-man team, that man was Duncan Edwards. His death, as far as football is concerned, was the single biggest tragedy that has happened to England and Manchester United.

    He was then, and has always remained to me incomparable. Nothing could stop him and nothing unnerved him.

    The bigger the occasion the better he liked it. While other players would be pacing up and down the dressing room, rubbing their legs, doing exercises, and looking for a way to pass time, Duncan was always very calm. He was a good type of lad too. He just wanted to go home or to his digs. He just lived for the game of football. Here was a young boy who was by far the best player that I have ever seen, and he had not yet even reached his peak. Perfectly fair in all that he did, Duncan hardly ever played a bad game.

    His death is a blow that English football will feel for years. He was like them, but that much better, and that much more powerful. Duncan was special; amongst a lot of special players.

    Today Is The 48th Anniversary of the Passing of Duncan Edwards

    He did practically everything right. He was the complete player. When we look at footballers fitting the description Duncan Edwards today, there are none who are worthy to be compared to the great Englishman.

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    Jimmy Murphy knew United must act fast in signing the year-old after witnessing what a tremendous talent the boy had after watching him play just once. Murphy allegedly pulled the teen out of bed to sign a professional contract for United to prevent any other clubs from swooping in — even though Edwards was Manchester United mad. He spoke about each English player in turn, highlighting their strengths and weakness. Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to Edwards befitting of his character and to make the people who have never had the fortune to see him play his when former players and journalists saw him first-hand believed that, had he lived, it would have been he who would have captained England in — and he who would have been holding the Jules Rimet trophy aloft instead of Bobby Moore.

    The greatest sadness surrounding Duncan Edwards was that the world did not see the giant in action. On February 6 th , , the Busby Babes had come back from a successful away trip against Red Star Belgrade where they stopped at Munich to refuel. The plane crashed due to ice on the wings and the Manchester United family that had taken Jimmy Murphy and Sir Matt Busby a decade to build was ripped apart. Goalkeeper Harry Gregg risked his life to pull his teammates out of danger— including a mother and her young child. Decades later, the family of Manchester United still brings pain to the former players.

    Among the United players, were coaches, journalists, co-pilot and fans. Frank Swift, a former Manchester City footballer-turned journalist, was also a victim. Murphy told Busby that he would go to Yugoslavia rather than the game at Ninian Park — but his manager told him that his place was with the Welsh side. I just poured Alma a glass of sherry and carried on sipping my Scotch. The plane has crashed. A lot of people have died. I did not understand. So she told me a third time and this time she started to cry. I went into my office and cried.

    On February 21 st , , Duncan Edwards had died. Whenever I heard Muhammad Ali on television say he was the greatest, I had to smile. There was only ever one greatest, and that was Duncan Edwards. There was nothing that needed to be coached into him — even at such a young age of 16 — he simply had it all.