Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 October 2017

Charlton leads tributes to fellow 'Busby Babe' Foulkes

Bill Foulkes
Bill Foulkes

Jamie Holland

MANCHESTER UNITED are expected to wear black armbands against Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow night as a mark of respect to Bill Foulkes, who has died aged 81.

Foulkes, who passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning, became captain of the club following the Munich air disaster and played a key role in United's 1968 European Cup triumph, the first by an English club, including scoring the winning goal in their semi-final against Real Madrid.

United are also set to mark his passing at their next home match, against Everton on December 4.

Bobby Charlton has led the tributes to Foulkes, saying his fellow 'Busby Babe' had helped changed the course of Manchester United's history.

A central defender, Foulkes made his debut for United in 1952 and went on to play 688 times for the club -- a figure only surpassed by Charlton, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

LEADER

After the Munich tragedy that claimed the lives of 23 people, he took over the captaincy and became the leader of the 'Busby Babes'.

Charlton, who like Foulkes was one of the survivors of Munich, described his old friend and colleague as "a marvellous man" and said the news of his death was "very sad".

"Bill was as hard as nails, as tough as teak -- I was always glad I didn't have to play against him," said Charlton.

"He was a really, really good defensive player and you could say he helped change the course of history for United. He survived the Munich air crash and then became the captain for a time."

Foulkes, whose father and grandfather had both played rugby league for his home town St Helens, started work as a coal miner and he was still going down the pit at Lea Green Colliery in the mid-1950s, by which time he was a regular member of Matt Busby's United first team and had won his only England cap in 1954.

Irish Independent

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