Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Man Utd

Saturday, 22 November 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 1 - 0 C Palace

Saturday, 08 November 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Munich survivor Foulkes dies

Former Manchester United stalwart Bill Foulkes has died at the age of 81.

Last Updated: 25/11/13 at 18:11 Post Comment

Munich survivor Bill Foulkes pictured in 1968

Munich survivor Bill Foulkes pictured in 1968

The central defender, who survived the 1958 Munich disaster, collected four League Championship medals, while also enjoying victories in two Wembley finals - the FA Cup of 1963 and the European Cup five years later.

Although not a prolific goalscorer during his 18-year career at Old Trafford, one of his finest moments came against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of United's European Cup winning season of 1967/68.

With the score 3-3 on aggregate at the Bernabeu, Foulkes - then 36 - made a rare journey upfield to latch onto George Best's pass and score the goal that sent the Red Devils into the final against Benfica who they beat 4-1 after extra-time.

Foulkes, who made his first-team debut against Liverpool in 1952, also won one England cap which came two years later at the age of 22 against Northern Ireland.

He played 688 games for the club - in all competitions - scoring nine goals before calling time on his career in the summer of 1970.

But 12 years earlier, the St Helens-born Foulkes walked virtually uninjured from the plane crash in Germany that claimed the lives of so many of his team-mates.

Many years later Foulkes said of the tragic accident on that icy runway in Munich: "It was obvious that we would struggle to take off and they took the chance.

"They should never have done that. I don't feel guilty about being a survivor. I was just damned lucky.

"But I do harbour this feeling that it wasn't necessary, that angers me. It cost the club, it cost the country so much."

And former teammate Sir Bobby Charlton is saddened by the news, and paid tribute to Foulkes by saying: "He was as hard as nails, as tough as teak - I was always glad I didn't have to play against him.

"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 (as did Charlton) and then became the captain for a time."

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward paid tribute to

Foulkes, saying: "Bill was a giant character in the post-war history of the club.

"He was a very gentle man who I was privileged to meet on several occasions, including most memorably with his team-mates at the Champions League final in Moscow, 50 years after his heroics in the Munich air crash.

"Bill's contribution over almost 700 games and nearly 20 years will never be forgotten."

United defender Rio Ferdinand wrote on Twitter that Foulkes was a "great servant to the club."

Foulkes, who began his working life as a coal miner, tried his hand at management both in the United States and in non-league English football, but he will best be remembered wearing the red shirt of Manchester United during the 1950s and 1960s.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

shagwa
Wenger warns Hodgson

I

m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

GVMUFC
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

F

or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

rodger's gusset
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

Footer 365

Chelsea & City win, Burnley joy

Premier League leaders Chelsea remain unbeaten after a routine 2-0 win over West Brom, while Man City beat Swansea and Burnley won at Stoke.

Premier League: Danny Ings inspires Burnley to first away win at Stoke

Danny Ings’ first-half double guided Burnley to a 2-1 victory over Stoke at the Britannia.

Premier League: Yaya Toure inspires Manchester City to comeback win over Swansea

Manchester City came from behind to grab only their second win in seven games thanks to Yaya Toure’s second-half winner.

Mail Box

A Funny Mail About Line Dancing & More

We have some great responses to young Jack's question about how readers first got into football. Plus, finally some intelligent thoughts on Dave Whelan's outburst...

United Fans Would Gladly Take Wilshere

That's the message to any Arsenal fans who don't appreciate the midfielder. Plus, plenty on everyone's current favourite football club chairman and a wee question about fandom...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property