A blue plaque commemorating Dudley footballing hero Duncan Edwards will be unveiled by England manager Sam Allardyce.
The unveiling will take place at 3pm on Saturday October 1st at the Pavilion on Priory Park.
Dudley North MP Ian Austin has been working with Councillor Dave Tyler and members of the local community to honour Duncan Edwards with a blue plaque at Priory Park where he honed his skills near to his childhood home on the Priory Estate.
Councillor Tyler and Ian Austin launched an appeal to pay for the plaque which is being funded with generous donations from local residents, Manchester United F.C, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.
Duncan Edwards lived on the Priory estate in Dudley and signed for Manchester United as a teenager. He became the youngest player to play in the Football League First Division and then the youngest England player since the Second World War before his life was tragically cut short as a result of injuries sustained in the Munich Air Crash on February 1958.
Bobby Charlton described him as "the only player that made me feel inferior". Tommy Docherty said that "there is no doubt in my mind that Duncan would have become the greatest player ever. Not just in British football, with United and England, but the best in the world.”
The plaque will be placed in Priory Park and unveiled by England Manager Sam Allardyce. “Big Sam” was born locally on the Old Park Farm Estate and spent his youth playing for Dudley Town before training with West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He carved out a notable career as a professional footballer and team manager before taking on the prestigious role as England manager.
Blue plaques, a scheme supported by English Heritage, celebrates the link between notable figures and the place they lived and grew up.
The plaque commemorating Duncan Edwards has been designed by Dudley Borough Artist Steve Field.
Sam Allardyce said:
“On behalf of The FA and England, it is a great honour for me to be asked to take part in such a noteworthy occasion. I look forward to returning home and seeing many familiar faces as we commemorate one of English football’s greatest ever players.”
Councillor Dave Tyler said:
“Duncan Edwards is one of the town’s most successful sons. He grew up on the Priory estate, attended Priory Primary and spent the majority of his weekends playing football with his friends at Priory Park.
“It will be great to have an official blue plaque to celebrate his local roots in the area where he practiced and polished his skills as a youngster. We are grateful to and Sam and the Football Association for their help and for taking time out of their busy schedules to honour Duncan Edwards.”
Ian Austin MP said:
“For anyone like me, who grew up in Dudley, the name of Duncan Edwards is synonymous with the town and your childhood; your school competed for the Duncan Edwards Cup; you saw the stained glass windows at St Francis’s Church. When you went swimming you’d see the shirts and the caps at the leisure centre.
“We are all so grateful for the generous donations from local people and Manchester United F.C, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion to enable local hero Duncan Edwards to be commemorated with a blue plaque.”