Stourbridge's footballing star Jude Bellingham donates top to help Duncan Edwards project

Stourbridge's own Jude Bellingham has donated a signed shirt to help raise money for a project honour Dudley footballing legend Duncan Edwards.

Jude Bellingham's Borussia Dortmund shirt has been donated
Jude Bellingham's Borussia Dortmund shirt has been donated

The 19-year-old, who plays for German side Borussia Dortmund, donated his top to back the fellow England star's Peace Field Project based at The Dell Stadium.

It aims to honour the legacy of the former Manchester United midfielder who died aged 21 as a result of injuries sustained in the 1958 Munich air crash.

Part of this will see The Dell Stadium in Brierley Hill – which will be declared the Duncan Edwards Peace Field on November 11 – twinned with the Flanders Peace Field in Mesen, Belgium, made the famous in the week leading up to Christmas 1914 when German, British and allied soldiers stopped fighting to sing festive songs.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, some ventured into no man’s land to exchange gifts and to play games of football. Today the truce is remembered as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity.

Jim Cadman, chairman of Duncan Edwards United, said: "Duncan is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time and Jude is clearly destined for football super stardom too.

"We are very proud of their Black Country heritage and honoured that their names are linked with our project, which involves football pitches all over the world being twinned with the iconic 1914 Christmas Truce football match on Flanders Field in Belgium in World War One."

A painting of Duncan Edwards (left) and Jude Bellingham (right)

The peace field will join three other schemes in the UK honouring football heroes Denis Law, Tom Finney and George Best. It will see under 15s sides from the four players' home towns compete for the Duncan Edwards Trophy in a competition which will be launched at The Dell Stadium, home of Dudley Town FC, in May next year.

It is part of an initiative by the National Children's Football Alliance which have seen 39 'peace pitches' created across countries across five continents, including the USA, Argentina, Ghana, Israel and Australia.

Jude Bellingham and Duncan Edwards made their full international debuts for England at Wembley in their teens 65 years apart, with Edwards being 18 when he scored for England in a 7-2 win over Scotland in 1955. Bellingham was 17 when he scored for England as they beat Northern Ireland 3-0 at Wembley on November 12, 2020.

The signed shirt will be among many items on show at the Memories and Memorabilia football Fair at the Copthorne Hotel in Dudley on November 13.

Running from 10am to 4pm, the event will showcase an extensive range of vintage football memorabilia presented by some of the country’s top dealers and collectors.

Admission costs £10 which includes free autographs and photographs with guest players who will pose with visitors holding full size replicas of the FA Cup, the European Cup and the World Cup trophy. Children aged under 16 will be admitted free.

Guests will include Aston Villa’s 1982 European Cup winning captain Dennis Mortimer, Coventry City 1987 FA Cup winner Dave Bennett, West Bromwich Albion striker Bob Taylor plus cartoon legend Roy of the Rovers with his creator, artist Paul Trevillion.

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