12/10/2013 09:00, Report by Nathan Thomas

#9 – Duncan's big day

A man described by some as the greatest ever player features at no.9 on our international countdown...

Players: Duncan Edwards
Match: West Germany 1-3 England, Olympic Stadium, West Germany, 1956

In what was the England national team’s first visit to Germany since the end of the Second World War, the Three Lions, containing three of Busby's Babes, headed to Berlin for a friendly match against world champions West Germany.

With Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor and Roger Byrne all starting, the trio from Old Trafford were in fine fettle, having just helped United become Division 1 champions for 1955/56. Byrne and Taylor both acquitted themselves well, but it was debutant 'Big Dunc' who, as he so often did, stood out.

Described by Sir Bobby Charlton as "the only player ever to make me feel inferior", Edwards put in a dominant display in which he netted the opening goal. Picking the ball up mid-way inside his own half, the boy from Dudley cut through the hapless German defence like a knife through butter, showcasing the power and panache that had so endeared him to the Old Trafford faithful. Carrying the ball over 15 yards, Edwards fashioned room to shoot and made no mistake, arrowing his strike into the bottom corner of the goal.

Further strikes from Colin Grainger and Johnny Haynes cemented England's lead and, though West Germany hit back through Fritz Walter, it was to prove nothing more than a consolation as the Three Lions secured a memorable 3-1 victory over the World Cup winners.

More international moments: #10 Law conquers England


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