The ‘teddy boy’ half-back
Living a few minutes’ walk from Old Trafford, on the road in Salford that would eventually provide the inspiration for British TV serial Coronation Street, Eddie Colman represented both Salford Boys and Lancashire Boys at football and cricket.
Colman represented United in the first three years of the FA Youth Cup. United were victorious every year.
Whilst playing for Salford Boys, Colman’s skill and interesting style of play caught the attention of Matt Busby and Jimmy Murphy. The youngster signed for the Reds in 1952, handing his £10 signing-on fee to his grandad, and immediately settled into the side, captaining United to triumph in 1955’s FA Youth Cup final.
Colman was given the duties of ‘camp rat catcher’ which afforded him a lot of time to play matches for United.
Later that year, Colman made his first-team debut, and despite time away during National Service, he would only miss 10 league matches between then and his death in 1958. A crowd-pleaser, Colman played the game with the jauntiest of swaggers and the small, creative footballer earned the nickname ‘Snake Hips’ from his swerving style of play which confounded opponents.
Away from the pitch, Colman loved music. Despite Busby’s attempts to talk him out of it, Colman adopted the ‘teddy boy’ style of drainpipe trousers, velvet-collared jackets, crepe-soled shoes and a quiff, and could often be found in local dance halls, performing the role of ‘social secretary’ for the rest of the team.
Eddie celebrates winning the League Championship with his team-mates at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
He would rarely let those he met know that he was a footballer, preferring to claim that he worked at Trafford Park. Frequently late for practice despite his proximity to the ground, his tardiness became a joke with his teammates and trainers. It was following a dressing down from Roger Byrne about his party-going lifestyle when Colman met Marjorie, who he courted until his life was tragically cut short at Munich.