Duncan Edwards (October 1, 1936 - February 21, 1958) was an English international footballer. Born in Dudley, he signed for Manchester United in June 1952 as an amateur and turned professional on October 1, 1953. He was one of the Busby Babes, the young United team formed under manager Matt Busby in the mid 1950s, and one of the eight United players who perished in the Munich air disaster.
He was born at a house in Malvern Crescent, on the then-new Holly Hall estate in Dudley, but spent most of his childhood living in Elm Road on the Priory Estate, also in Dudley. He attended Priory Primary School and Wolverhampton Street Secondary School, and was a key player in both schools' teams.
On April 4, 1953, he became the youngest footballer to play in the Football League First Division, making his debut versus Cardiff City. At the age of 18 years and 183 days, he made his international debut in a match against Scotland on 2 April 1955, and became England's youngest post-war debutant, a record presently held by Wayne Rooney. Edwards made 175 appearances for Manchester United F.C., scoring 21 goals and winning 18 caps for England, scoring 5 goals.
The Munich air disaster
On 6 February 1958, the aeroplane carrying Edwards and his team mates home from a European Cup away match against Red Star Belgrade crashed on takeoff after a refuelling stop in Munich. Seven of his team mates and 15 other passengers died, and Edwards was seriously injured, with his injuries including broken ribs, a broken leg and chest injuries. Although doctors thought he had a chance of survival, they did not think he would be able to play football again.
Fight for life
He lost consciousness on 11 February and doctors had an artificial kidney rushed to the hospital for him the following day, but the artificial kidney reduced his blood's ability to clot and he began to bleed internally. Doctors were "amazed" at his fight for life. However, his condition worsened and he died in the Rechts der Isar hospital, in Munich on 21 February. He was buried at Dudley Cemetery five days later, and his grave is visited regularly by football fans. He is buried with his sister Carol Anne, who died in 1947 at the age of 14 weeks.
Recognition of Talent
In recognition of his obvious talents Edwards was made an Inaugural Inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
McCartney, Iain (2004). Duncan Edwards — The Final Report. Britespot Publishing Solutions Ltd. ISBN 1-904103-29-4.