Matt Busby described Duncan Edwards as the most 'complete footballer in Britain - possibly the world'. The greatest tragedy is that his death aged just 21 from injuries sustained in the Munich air crash meant his full potential was never realised.
Armed with boundless stamina, an all-encompassing range of passing and a truly ferocious shot, Edwards was a player who could control any game he played in. His extraordinary ability had been noted across the country when he was just an 11 year-old playing for Dudley schoolboys, and he was coveted across the West Midlands by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City. By that point his school master had already commented: “I have just seen a boy of 11 who will one day play for England”.
Despite the clamour to keep him tied to the Midlands – Wolves were the top dogs back then – Duncan signed as an amateur for United following a personal visit from Matt Busby on 31 May 1952. Although Busby recalled that he hardly had to sell the club, as Edwards said: “Manchester United is the greatest team in the world. I’d give anything to play for you.”
A hulking physical presence for one so young earned Edwards the nickname of ‘manboy’, and he made his Football League