‘Only a matter of ten months before the Munich Air Disaster in which Dudley born Duncan Edwards lost his life’
In this day and age it would be difficult to imagine millionaire Premiership footballers serving their country in the armed forces, and even less playing in a battalion football match, but that was just the case for two of the all-time greats, Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton, both of Manchester United and England.
Only a matter of ten months before the Munich Air Disaster in which Dudley-born Duncan Edwards lost his life, they were both playing for 17 Company RAOC (Nesscliff) in a cup final versus 3 Training Battalion RAOC (Hilsea) at the Bicester Town ground on 16th April 1957.
A crowd of over 2000 turned up, no doubt attracted by the presence of the two stars.
We are indebted to one of our readers, Frank Hitchen of Rochester, Staffs, for sending in these two pictures of the RAOC (Nesscliff) team taken on different occasions.
Frank did his national service with Duncan and Bobby and played with them for the Nesscliff (Shrops) camp in season 1956/57.
For the record the Nesscliff team won by four goals to three, with both Edwards and Charlton on the score sheet. The team line up reads, Anderson, Hebden, Manuel, Taylor, Griffiths, Edwards, Hitchen, Mackay, Gryber, Charlton and Ord.