Jimmy Murphy Jnr leads educational workshop with Foundation participants
Students enrolled on Manchester United Foundation’s BTEC Sport programme have been learning about the impact of the great Jimmy Murphy in recent weeks to coincide with the unveiling of a statue in his honour outside the Stretford End.
Ahead of the statue reveal earlier this month, Foundation students were invited to Old Trafford to understand the extent of the contribution that Jimmy made to Manchester United, supported by an eye-opening workshop delivered by his son, Jimmy Jnr.
Students took a tour of the club museum, viewing exhibits dedicated to Jimmy, including a Wales international cap, personal letters and team photos where he stood alongside famed Reds squads of the 1950s and 1960s.
This included one of Jimmy shaking hands with the late Duke of Edinburgh, as he proudly led United out for the 1958 FA Cup final, mere months after the tragic Munich Air Disaster where eight of our players were lost.
As part of his talk with students, Jimmy Jnr also brought photos from his own collection, which decorate his home, to show to students and recall special stories kept alive from his father’s outstanding career in football – as a player, coach, manager, and plenty more.
Jimmy Jnr engaged participants with anecdotes of his father’s passionate dedication to United, his commitment to the young lads he coached and how upon Sir Matt Busby’s request to “keep the flag flying, Jimmy” he kept the club afloat in the hard months that followed the aforementioned Munich Air Disaster.
One of the young people in attendance, Zion, appeared to be particularly in admiration of Jimmy’s achievements and the opportunity to learn about them from his son.
“We met Jimmy Jnr, Jimmy Murphy’s son, and he talked us through all the things Jimmy did: his background, and how he got to where he did and why he is so important to United,” said Zion.
“He taught us about life behind the scenes at the club when Jimmy was there; I didn’t know much about him, which is why I enjoyed it, I was learning so much.
“Jimmy is very inspiring. Once you learn the story behind the statue, it’s very self-explanatory as to why it’s there.”
The students enrolled on our BTEC programme study at both Eccles Sixth Form College and Pendleton Sixth Form College with the support of Foundation coaches.
Through the course, the young people gain knowledge and skills across a range of sporting disciplines, preparing them for employment in the sports industry.
Immortalised at the Stretford EndGallery
Browse a selection of images from Jimmy Murphy's statue unveiling at Old Trafford.
Another student, Jaylan, added: “Hearing from Jimmy Jnr, we learnt how involved his dad actually was in the club, you don’t get to hear about the stuff. To hear it first-hand, it paints a different picture and it’s mad to see how involved his dad was.
“It allows people to learn about Jimmy because he’s not spoken about as much as other people in the club, like Sir Matt Busby, around that same time. It’s important that other people can see the role he played.”
Jimmy Jnr took pride in sharing the stories of his father with the young people and hopes that, with the help of Jimmy Snr’s permanent tribute now outside the Stretford End, our students can encourage further conversations that will keep his father’s legacy alive for many years to come.
“It’s learning about the history of the club, and United do a really good job of that,” Jimmy Jnr said of the opportunity to speak with our students.
“They can tell somebody else about my dad now, that’s why I speak with the young kids. It’s something I like to do.”
The Foundation was established in 2007 to deliver community outreach and education programmes to young people across Greater Manchester, and as a lasting tribute to the Busby Babes.
Jimmy’s ethos to nurture the talents of young people is very much mirrored by the Foundation’s work today, having positively engaged over 20,000 young people in 2022/22 through programmes that encourage them to make positive choices in their lives.
And Zion perfectly expressed how the Foundation is able to inspire our young people through the power of Manchester United.
“The name Manchester United makes sense, it makes you feel unity, togetherness,” he said.
“The more you learn, the more you are a part of things. You feel like you are as one. It’s very inclusive.”