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  • Writer's pictureGayle Rogers

65th Anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster

The 6th of February 2023 will be the 65th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster where a plane crashed on take-off in Munich and those who died included 8 players and 3 members of staff from Manchester United.

The 21st of February will be the 65th anniversary of the death of Duncan Edwards – the Busby Babe, Manchester United and England footballer. Duncan died from the injuries he sustained in the crash; he was 21 years old but already described as one of the greatest footballers of all time.


As a descendent of Duncan Edwards & being part of the Edwards family, I was inspired to capture memories of Duncan and the Busby Babes after hearing my mom talking about growing with Duncan in Dudley in the West Midlands. I was awarded a PhD for my sports history research (specifically relating to the Munich Air Disaster) by the International Football Institute – the research arm of the National Football Museum at UCLan in 2017.

‘I’m creating a series of new artwork that I can translate into zines or comics to hopefully encourage new and younger audiences to engage with the stories of others around this significant moment in British football history’.


‘What Time’s Kick-off?’ is the title of my latest work in progress show. It is a title that paraphrases part of a conversation that allegedly took place between Duncan Edwards & the then Manchester United Assistant Manager (and manager of Wales) Jimmy Murphy at Edwards’ hospital bed. Duncan was in and out of consciousness after the crash and when he awoke on one occasion to see his close friend Jimmy - he asked what time the kick-off for a match at the weekend was. A match that he would never play. Jimmy would have been on the plane if Wales had not qualified for the 1958 World Cup. Edwards’ statue in Dudley carries this quote from Jimmy: ‘THE MOST COMPLETE FOOTBALLER I HAVE EVER SEEN’.


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