Daily Images | Busby Babes

Daily Images – the Busby Babes were a group of Manchester United players, recruited and trained by the club’s chief scout Joe Armstrong and assistant manager Jimmy Murphy, who progressed from the club’s youth team into the first team under the management of the eponymous Matt Busby.

The Busby Babes were notable not only for being young and gifted, but for being developed by the club itself, rather than bought from other clubs, which was customary then, as now. The term, coined by Manchester Evening News journalist Frank Nicklin in 1951, usually refers to the players who won the league championship in seasons 1955–56 and 1956–57 with an average age of 21 and 22 respectively.

Eight of the players – Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Mark Jones (24), Duncan Edwards (21), Billy Whelan (22), Tommy Taylor (26), David Pegg (22) and Geoff Bent (25) – died due to the Munich air disaster in February 1958, while Jackie Blanchflower (24 on the day of the crash) (along with senior player Johnny Berry (31 on the day of the crash)) was injured to such an extent that he never played again.

The last remaining player from the pre-Munich side, Bobby Charlton (20 on the day of the crash), retired from playing in 1975; though he had left Manchester United two years earlier, he had continued playing as player-manager of Preston North End.

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