En Passent - Man U Tragedy of 1958
I don't know about everyone else, but I saw a couple of programmes on BBC4 on Monday about the 1958 tragedy. The programmes centred a lot on Bobby Charlton and the icon he had in the shape of Duncan Edwards. Plus the hero of the hour, Harry Gregg.
I in no way wish to besmirch Edwards' skill and character - far from it - but I do wonder whether Edwards was such a great player as made out. He certainly had a great will that made him stand out, and that was the main characteristic I felt, apart from his body strength. He was not, however, a six-footer.
But he was, of course, the sort of player that any club would have dreamt of having in their team.
The main reason why I question his greatness (to the degree stated by Bobby Charlton but doubted by John Docherty), is that in the '57 Final against the Villa he did not stand out to the degree you'd have
expected him to. He (as I recall it) took the place of Blanchflower at c-h, but since Supermac scored his two goals from the centre of the penalty area, where was Edwards on those occasions? Or was it
that Supermac was then at or near his peak? (He was the third highest scorer in the World Cup finals, 1958 - one behind Pele).
But Feb 6, '58 was indeed a very very sad day, no doubt. We all appreciated the Busby Babes.
And England lost several good players for their international side..Byrne, Edwards, Taylor...
BTW - the Man U tragedy has obscured another sad event - which I think was also in 1958. The death (from polio) of England international Geoff Hall. That he played for Birmingham City should not, I think, cause us to forget that there was another big loss to the England team of the time.
Perhaps one of the biggest losses to England, though, was the fact they never picked Nigel Sims.