Duncan Edwards photographs and letters sell for £40,000 at auction

Duncan Edwards was just 21 when the plane carrying the team crashed on its third attempt to take off from the runway at Munich-Riem Airport in poor conditions on February 6, 1958.

The family photo album

More than 40 items, including photographs and letters belonging to a rising Manchester United star killed in the Munich air disaster, have sold for over £40,000 at auction.

Duncan Edwards was just 21 when the plane carrying the team crashed on its third attempt to take off from the runway at Munich-Riem Airport in poor conditions on February 6, 1958.

The players and a number of fans and sports journalists were returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, when the plane stopped in Munich to refuel.

Twenty people were pronounced dead at the scene and although Edwards was extracted alive from the wreckage, he died in hospital 15 days later. The final toll was 23 dead.







A letter from Bobby Charlton to Molly Leech dated February 17, 1958
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Edwards already had 18 caps for England and was tipped as future captain when he was killed.

His 22-year-old fiancée Molly Leech rushed to Germany to be by his side in hospital, and after his death returned home with only his personal belongings.

Molly, who died in 2004 aged 68, never parted with the items, but her daughters put them up for sale at Northamptonshire-based auction house Graham Budd.

Among the collection were letters from supporters, photographs, his travel bag and football programmes.

Edwards’ family album with photos from his football career at Manchester United and England, such as portraits, match photos, moments with teammates, as well as some of his national service, has been bought by a UK-based private collector for £12,400.







A recovery card sent to Duncan Edwards
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A get well card from Manchester United team-mate Bobby Charlton to Molly sold for £10,540 and Edwards’ travel bag fetched £6,820.

While a group of personal items and memorabilia linked to Molly’s trip to Munich after the accident was bought by a collector for £5,456.

A slew of religious medals sent to Molly by well-wishers fetched £3,224 and a life insurance policy taken out by Edwards less than three months before her death sold for £2,728.

Molly’s daughters, who wish to remain anonymous, said: ‘Our mum Molly first met Duncan on a Saturday night at Ringway Airport, which is now Manchester Airport.

“In the 1950s, a lot of people went to the airport to watch the planes! She was from Manchester and worked in an office there. They were very much in love but very private and ordinary people.

“They liked playing cards and tennis, he liked fishing – she always spoke of him with great affection.”

One girl continued: “I just can’t imagine what my mum must have been through when she had to go to Munich. It was such a sad and awful part of her life – she was only 22.

“She died in 2004, aged 68. Our father passed away three years ago and although we have kept in touch and visited Duncan’s mother, we are one step away from history and would like his legacy to continue. ”

Adam Gascoigne, Managing Director of Graham Budd Auctions, said: “We are delighted that all lots have sold. The prices obtained reflect the uniqueness and history of this wonderful collection.

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