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Thread: Tribute to The Busby Babes

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    Lightbulb Tribute to The Busby Babes

    On the 50th anniversary of the munich air disaster , which claimed the lives of 8 man utd players.. This is the story of arguably the Greatest team in British Football History.



    The distinctive sound of laughter rebounded around the cramped cabin of the BEA Elizabethan aircraft as it flew 18,000 feet above central europe from belgrade to a refuelling stop in munich. On the morning of Feb 6,1958 , Matt Busby & his Man Utd players were returning home after securing a 2nd successive appearance in the semi-finals of the fledging European Cup with a 3-3 draw against Red Star Belgrade(was the best team in europe back then) the night before.

    This was yet another triumph in what promised to be a historic season . United were seeking a
    hat-trick of League titles, having won it in 1956 & 57, & were only 4 points behind leaders Wolves, who they would face in 2 days at OT, b4 meeting Sheffield Wednesday the following week in the FA cup 5th round. Ac Milan awaited them in the european cup , & beyond that , possibly Real Madrid? in the final?.

    The Vast majority of busby's side had come through the youth ranks at OT & with an average age of just 24, hadn't come even close to fulfilling their vast potential.

    THE SIGN

    Bobby Charlton remembers there were snow on the ground when they landed at reims airport, although at this stage there was no reason to be concerned. But hours later , after 2 aborted take-offs , the mood amongst the party had become increasingly tense .As the players returned to the airport terminal there was hopeful talk of returning home overland. Duncan Edwards sent a telegram to his landlady in Stretford : " all flights cancelled. Flying tommorow. Duncan . "

    But soon the plane's captain James Thain recalled his passenger . The united player felt uneasy as they boarded again, but no one spoke out. As they took their seats, some including Charlton & viollet(denice), swapped from their original position believing they would be safer ( ironic ?) . For the third time , the plane's engine roared as they began to accelerate along the slush-covered runway. Soon the player noticed that they were seeing new landmarks & had even passed the red building which they had stopped opposite on the 2 aborted runs. Liam Whelan turned to Harry gregg & said : " if the worst happens, i am ready for death.... I hope we all are " ........... <crashhhh>...



    Why so serious?

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    THE LOST BUSBY BABES

    How good could the Busby Babes have been ? The 10 Players lost to Munich (including 2 injuries) can only leaves us wondering ..
    Why so serious?

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    DUNCAN EDWARDS



    Age : 21
    Positions : Half-Back
    Appearances : 175
    Goals : 21


    The greatest Babe of all was Duncan Edwards, who remain's the emblem for this side, but survives only in handful of shaky black & white newsreel & in the memories of those who saw him play. Born In dudley in 1936, Edwards was first brought to busby's attention in 1948, but his prodigious talent was so obvious that utd soon became just one of several club chasing him.By 1952 , they panicked that they might lose out, Bert Whalley & Jimmy Murphy drove trough the night & got Edwards out of his bed in his pyjamas to sign 4 utd.

    Former team-mates & opponents speak in awe of edwards powerful frame. He wasn't the tallest player (5ft 11 inch), but his remarkably broad torso & thick legs gave amazing presence. Edwards also possessed extraordinary skill & flair. The Former England captain said : " there is no doubt with edwards, byrne & taylor we would have won the world cup in 58 & 62 ." as Jimmy Murphy said : " when i used to hear Muhammad Ali proclaim to the world he was the greatest, i used to smile, You see ,The greatest of them all was an English Footballer named Duncan Edwards"
    Why so serious?

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    TOMMY TAYLOR



    Age : 26
    Positions : Centre-Foward
    Appearances : 189
    Goals : 128


    Born in Barnsley on 29th January 1932, Taylor was one of two Barnsley players to have joined the ill fated Manchester United team which was devastated in the Munich air crash in 1958; the other being Mark Jones.Tommy played for Barnsley before his transfer to Manchester United for what was then a record fee £29,999 - as is generally known, Matt Busby did not want him burdened with a £30,000 tag and gave the extra pound to a tea lady . Soon it was apparent that United had got a bargain. When Tommy Taylor powered home a header from outside the penalty area against Preston North End in his first game for his new club, it was clear that Taylor was a real Yorkshire bargain. He scored twice on his debut and by the end of the 1952/53 campaign he had notched seven in just 11 games.

    Tommy was arguably the greatest centre-forward England , let alone United, ever had. He was certainly one of the most underrated and his scoring record would have been staggering in any era . For the Red Devils he managed two goals every three matches; put another way, he found the net once every two hours or so that he spent on a football pitch. On top of that he weighed in with a further 16 in 19 games for England and there was every reason to believe that, at 26, he was still approaching his peak.Tommy's growing stature in the world game was illustrated immediately after the 1957 FA Cup Final, in which he scored United's goal, when inter Milan made the then-astronomical offer of £65,000 for his services. The manager rejected the bid; his dashing young centre-forward was not for sale at any price, a decision that was ultimately to cost Taylor his life.
    Why so serious?

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    GEORGE BENT



    Age : 25
    Positions : Left-Back
    Appearances : 12 Goals : 0

    Two broken legs & playing in the same position as byrne restricted bent's appearances. Was a late called up as cover for the injured bryne .

    Why so serious?

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    JOHNNY BERRY



    Age : 31
    Positions : Winger
    Appearances : 273
    Goals : 44


    The oldest member of the side , Berry was a rare purchase , from birmingham for £25,000 in 1951, whose croses provide many goals for taylor & viollet. Survived munich, but would never played again.
    Why so serious?

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    JACKIE BLANCHFLOWER



    Age : 24
    Positions : Inside-right
    Appearances : 116
    Goals : 27

    The brothers of spurs legend Danny, Blanchflower was forced to retire due to the injuries he sustained at Munich.
    Why so serious?

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    ROGER BYRNE



    Age : 28
    Positions : Left-back
    Appearances : 227
    Goals : 19


    The captain of the babes & one of England's finest ever defender , Byrne was a pioneering full-back & busby was believed to be grooming him as his manager successor.
    Why so serious?

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    EDDIE COLMAN



    Age : 21
    Positions : Half-back
    Appearances : 107
    Goals : 2


    A local lad & the side's joker . "Snake hips " was " beautiful to watch" & become a crucial member of the first team after captainig the 1955 FA youth Cup winners.
    Why so serious?

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    MARK JONES



    Age : 24
    Positions : Central Defender
    Appearances : 120
    Goals : 1

    Spotted playing schools football in Barnsley(also the home of Tommy Taylor) . A tank of a man at 6ft & 15 stone. Bill Foulked described him as " a tough nut , who nobody took liberty with " .

    Why so serious?

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    DAVID PEGG



    Age : 22
    Positions : Left-Winger
    Appearances : 148
    Goals : 28


    Discovered in his native Doncaster, Pegg joined Manchester United at 15 , making his dbut in 1953. Tipped to succeed the incomparable Tom Finney in The England side .
    Why so serious?

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    LIAM BILLY WHELAN



    Age : 22
    Positions : Inside-Foward
    Appearances : 96
    Goals : 52

    One of Europe's most promising players, before his death, Busby believed that whelan had the potential to be as great as Ferenc Puskas(the hungarian legend) .
    Why so serious?

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