Duncan Edwards is by many described as the best footballer to be, and at his age he was something else, a bright future was in front of him but as we all know it all ended in a tragic disaster as the England international died in the Munich crash.
When the crash happened and we never got the opportunity to see Duncan Edwards on a football field again, he had at the age of 21 added up 18 caps and scored 5 goals for England, played a total of 151 EFL games for Manchester United and scored 20 goals.
His talent was something we seldom will see in football and the future looked fantastic, the left half would have been part of the England set up for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, and the outfall could have been much different, and of course gone on to win more honours than his two league titles from 1956 and 1957 with Manchester United.
England did participate in the 1962 World Cup but at the age of 26, Duncan Edwards would have been at his very best and looking forward he could have gone on to play in both the 1966 and 1970 finals. Bobby Charlton was just a year younger than Duncan Edwards and came through the ranks at Manchester United at the same time. The two also did military service together in the area of Shrewsbury.Embed from Getty Images
Duncan Edwards, was described as a rock in open sea and a player that could operate in midfield and of course in the centre of a back three. He made his England debut at the age of 18 and when making his first team debut with MU, at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player in the top flight ever.
A teetotal as we would probably have liked every sports man to be and of course leading by example and being a grand role model for his generation, being that proper and solid rock as described, and of course a key player in the Sir Matt Busby set up. Bill Foulkes and Paddy Crerand did get their shots instead as they covered the positions we would surely had seen Duncan Edwards operating in, getting that great generation of players coming up and establishing Manchester United again as a giant in European and domestic football during the 60’s.
Duncan Edwards had a leading role in the England team and played in all four of the qualification games for the 1958 World Cup, scored two goals in the 5-2 hammering for Denmark in Copenhagen, often said to be the clear alternative to follow Billy Wright as captain of England.
History and destiny tells a different story as we again did see a great athlete and massive footballer leave us with his best years in front and leaving a big hole of grief behind.
But as we are asking the questions, what if? and why? his place was there to be filled both for club and country as other players stepped forward and made the most of their football careers.
Manchester United were close to win The Double with Duncan Edwards in the team and he was part of the run with the club raching the 1957 FA Cup final, but had to see defeat against Aston Villa, losing 2-1.
A sad story and a tragic outfall is of course the close picture of his life, but indeed giving inspiration and hope for other players as English football reached it’s peak in the 60’s with both Manchester United and England making history on the path that was there to walk for other players making their club and nation proud.
Duncan Edwards, The Greatest
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