Our main image this week captures a historic moment for Manchester United – the debut of football icon Duncan Edwards. The date is Saturday April 4th 1953.
The brilliant all-rounder is pictured leaving the Old Trafford pitch after a 4-1 defeat by Cardiff City. United’s only goal was scored by Roger Byrne.
It was a time of transition for United who finished eighth in the First Division with 46 points. Manager Matt Busby was bringing in a group of highly talented young players who would later become famous as the Busby Babes.
As well as Edwards, forward Dennis Viollet and defender Jackie Blanchflower would join the team. The 1952-3 season also saw the arrival of 21-year-old centre-forward Tommy Taylor from Barnsley for a club record transfer fee of £29,999.
After a short but glittering career, which many predicted would see him become England captain, Edwards died as a result of injuries sustained in the Munich air crash of February 1958. He was 21.
A heartfelt tribute to Edwards came from fellow United legend and team-mate Bobby Charlton, also pictured on the Old Trafford pitch in April 2016.
He said of Edwards: ‘Physically he was enormous. He was strong and had a fantastic football brain. His ability was complete.’
*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.
It’s on sale at £14.99 including postage and packing. Order your copy online at inostalgia.co.uk or ring the order hotline on 01928 503777.