A close family friend of Munich Air Disaster victim Eddie Colman remembers the Manchester United legend 62 years after the tragedy.

Credit// Andrew Canonaco

Bill Speakman, of Leigh, was a fan of Eddie and often took his father to church at Christmas after the Busby Babe passed away in February 1958.

Bill, 87, held Eddie Colman’s medals at his graveside and remembered the day when he was 16 and heard the tragic news about Colman.

He said: “That night all the reports were coming in from Germany.  I felt devastated.

“I was only 16, it destroyed everything.  It’s never been the same since really. They’ve won the European Cup three times since, but it’s never been the same.

“At the time they were all young lads.  No other team had a team of all young lads – only Manchester United did.

Credit// Andrew Canonaco

“Eddie was described as the Marilyn Monroe of Manchester United because he had swivel hips.”

Speakman said he used to go to the house where the Colman family used to live in Ordsall near the docks, which is now MediaCityUK.

Eddie’s father ended up giving both of the metals won by his son to Bill.

Credit// Andrew Canonaco

Bill brought the metals down to where Eddie rests behind MediaCity to remember both his legacy and his extraordinary life.

Colman’s grave lies in sight of his beloved Old Trafford ground.

Bill added: “Family and friends were adamant that Eddie was buried there in sight of the old stanchion at Old Trafford.”

February 6, 1958 marked the darkest of days for the Manchester United Team.

As the team were on their way back home to England from Munich, Germany, the plane crashed, killing 23 people on board.

Amongst those killed was Eddie.

Born in Ordsall, Salford, Colman joined the youth team of Manchester United in the summer of 1952 after coming out of school.

During the 1955-56 football season he joined Manchester United as a first-team member, where he remained until his death in 1958 during that fateful day in Munich.

Colman gained two metals during his career.  One of which came from his first season with the team as a Football League First Division, later being awarded a Championship League metal in the following season.

Colman helped the team in the following years to reach the European Cup semi-finals.

Over his three years at United, he made 108 first-team appearances and scored two goals for the team, one of which came in the first half of the European Cup quarter-final against Red Star Belgrade, which they tied.

Manchester United held a remembrance event at Old Trafford today at 3pm.

Credit// Andrew Canonaco

One Comment

  1. Nice job mate. Poignant tribute to a great United team.

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