Munich Memories of A Manchester Lad – Part 1

1


By Worried Turkey.

Well here goes, 6th February 1958…

Looked up at the school clock, not long now… Trevor (my best mate) and I would race home from school every day. First one home took their Casey down to the wreck for the match; he would also be captain and select the teams. Trev could never understand why I always won. We lived on the same street, but Trev lived three doors up from me so I didn’t have as far to run!!

Anyway this day home…

Boots check; ball check; and onto the rec we went. It was a bloody cold and snowy day, but what the heck (I’m a hardened red). The match rules were first to twenty or 5 o’clock, whichever came first. Trev being a rich so and so had a Mickey Mouse watch so he was timekeeper (eat your heart out Fergie). With teams picked (must have been about fourteen a side) and the game well underway Trev informed everyone it was nearly 5 o’clock – we were leading 18-12 when I picked up the ball just inside their half, played a quick one-two and hit a screamer. I’d seen Duncan Edwards do this for Manchester United and England and I’d practised for hours on end because of Dunc. The ball sailed into the bottom corner (well that’s what I reckon), then the arguments started… “Post! Post! The ball went over my jumper” said someone “no way, was a goal” I replied…”blah blah blah”.

After the arguments had settled I looked up and who should be there but my Uncle, “The ball was in wasn’t it Unc?” “Unc, why are you crying?” Unc beckoned me over and told me that United’s plane had crashed… He came out for fresh air, a place to think, not really to find me. He’d forgotten we played football at the rec. All the United fans amongst us ran off to listen to the latest news. Myself, Trev and Unc walked slowly back home and only realised how serious the situation was (more than I first thought) when I saw Unc with tears in his eyes. We’re Man Utd… big Dunc, Peggy, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes (who I got to know later on in life… but that is another story) they’re superstars, nothing could happen to them… could it!!

We arrived at Gran’s where everybody was crowded around the radio – it didn’t sound good. News bulletins were being issued every five minutes – they were reporting fatalities, but nobody knew who for sure… Looking out of the window people were gathering everywhere. Houses had their windows open allowing people passing by to hear the latest radio update. As time passed names were starting to be revealed, Sir Matt (he was always Sir to me, again another story) was alive but only just… Big Dunc was fighting for his life. Surely not Dunc, he was indestructible, built like a brick sh*thouse. He made 175 appearances for Man United and was only 21. Muhammad Ali once said he was the greatest, I don’t think so. Tommy Taylor was reported to have died (please please be wrong… they weren’t). He’d played 189 games for the reds and scored 128 goals, he also represented England on 19 occasions scoring 16 goals. The man was (and still is in my eyes) a legend. David Pegg (I might have mentioned, but he once spoke to me…) was 22, he made 148 appearances for United…

Sorry I’m going to have to come back to this later. I’m being a soft so and so. I cannot see the screen, I always get this way about this subject…

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You can read Part 1-7 plus the Final Word here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Munich Memories of A Manchester Lad – The Final Word

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