Service honours football great Duncan Edwards

Tributes were paid today at a memorial service in Dudley honouring footballing legend and Busby Babe Duncan Edwards on the 55th anniversary of his death.

Relatives of the Dudley-born England and Manchester United player, civic leaders and representatives from the footballing world, gathered to pay their respects.

Edwards was killed, aged 21, in the Munich air disaster in which 23 passengers, including seven other players, perished.

Today’s service was held at St Francis Church on the Priory estate in Dudley, where a stained glass is dedicated to the player.

Around 40 people attended today’s service, including his cousins, local residents and children from Priory Primary School who gave readings during the ceremony.

Exhibition boards had been erected at the church delving into Duncan’s life story and memories of his career were also shared during his morning’s service.

It had been organised by film-maker Rose Cook who has produced an hour-long documentary telling the tale of his life from his days growing up in Dudley to walking out on the hallowed turf at Old Trafford.

Duncan’s cousin John Edwards said: “It is brilliant that so many people still remember Duncan and I’ve had people from all over asking me about him even now.” Rose, who lives in the Woodside area of Dudley, said she dreamed up the idea of the film on a chance visit to Duncan’s grave around 15 years ago.

“There were so many flowers around and I’d obviously heard the name of Duncan Edwards but wanted to know more and I thought there really was a story to tell,” she said.

Rose linked up with Wolverhampton television production broadcaster Network Five. During the filming, she grew close to Duncan’s remaining family, including his first cousins Keith, 75, and John, 79, and second cousin Lawrence, 69, who attended today’s service.

The film is called And Then Came Munich. John Edwards, who makes annual visits to Duncan’s grave with Keith and Lawrence from Coventry, said: “It is a great film and she had done a good job.”