Duncan Edwards-related football programmes. © Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Saturday June 7 2008 saw the opening of a new permanent Duncan Edwards and Local Heroes Gallery at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.
The new gallery celebrates the achievements of local lad Duncan Edwards, who died following the Munich air disaster of 1958 together with teammates, staff and journalists connected to Manchester United Football club.
The display includes photos, England caps, football shirts and press cuttings together with a number 10 shirt from the World Cup qualifier against Denmark held at Molineux in December 1956. Edwards scored twice in the match with England winning a comfortable 5-2.
There is also a collection of football programmes, medals and other memorabilia connected to Edwards’ footballing years. Edwards grew up on the local Priory Park Estate and went on to play for Manchester United as part of the famous Busby Babes squad – so named after their manager Sir Matt Busby – and has remained a local folk hero.
“Duncan Edwards was a talented man who will always stay close to the hearts of the people of Dudley,” said Councillor Ray Burston, Mayor of Dudley; “which is why we wanted to celebrate his life and achievements.”
The museum holds several of Duncan Edwards' England shirts. © Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Sir Bobby Charlton was among visitors celebrating the extraordinary talent of the Black Country Busby Babe during a Duncan Edwards celebration day, organised by Dudley Borough Council, on Saturday June 7 2008.
The event, which celebrated the life and career of the Dudley footballer, took place in Dudley town centre. It also highlighted the talent of local youngsters – who are also the focus of the new exhibition - which showcases local sporting memorabilia as well as information on local sportsmen and women.
For the celebration day, specially produced embroidered commemorative ‘Edwards’ football shirts were available to buy from Dudley Market. The shirts, which come in red and white, were sold for £15 each with all proceeds going to the council’s Castle and Priory youth activity project.
Between 1952-1958, Duncan Edwards made 175 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 21 goals and winning 2 Championship winners medals - in 1956 and 1957. Between 1955-1957 he won 18 caps for England – all of which are displayed at the museum. He died aged 21 on February 6, 1958.