We do get carried away with them sometimes. How often do we use the phrases ‘world class’, ‘superb’ and ‘great’ when really what we mean is ‘adequate’ or ‘well-paid’ especially where footballers are concerned.
With that and this day in mind, you do wonder what the lives lost at Munich in 1958 would be worth today. Or how many superlatives might be coined by the headline writers?
It was in my lifetime, but I was too young to recall 1958 and I don’t think I ever see them play, although I might be wrong as my Dad took me to both Old Trafford and Maine Road to sit on his shoulders when I hadn’t a clue what was going on.
Anyway, what happened in the slush and ice of Munich deprived England and ManU of success. Local lads Roger Byrne, Geoff Bent and Eddie Colman perished there, as did Barnsley-born Mark Jones and Tommy Taylor, plus David Pegg from Derbyshire and Irish-born Billy Whelan.
And Duncan Edwards. The man who might lifted the World Cup in ’66 instead of Bobby Moore. Yes, he was a giant of the game and someone who could have become a legend, but I suspect that true hero might have been Tommy Taylor.
We will never know and simply speculate. Had that plane not slipped off the runway, had those players not died young, had ManU gone on to win the European Cup then maybe, just maybe Englisg clubs might would not have to wait ten years for that glory and might won the World Cup more than once.