The Black Country | Archive | 2006 | January | 13

Hero Bobby's back

From the archive, first published Friday 13th Jan 2006.

ENGLAND legend Sir Bobby Charlton will make an emotional return to Dudley and open a football facility in memory of the town's most famous son.

The World Cup winner will be present at the grand opening of a £100,000 games area in Priory Park on Thursday February 16 - only yards away from the Elm Road home of the great Duncan Edwards.

The pair who played alongside each other in the famous Manchester United `Busby Babes' became friends until tragedy struck on February 6 in 1958.

Duncan was only 21 when he died from his injuries, 14 days after crashing in the Munich Air disaster.

Amazingly `The Tank', as he was known, had already won the league title twice and picked up a staggering 21 England caps.

Sir Bobby, a regular visitor to the town up until the death of Duncan's mum Sarah, was also present at the grand opening of his friend's statue in The Market Place back in 1999.

For The Friends of Priory Park a visit from England's all-time leading goalscorer will be beyond their wildest dreams.

Group secretary Chris Rich said: "I find it incredible that he's made time to come down and open the park for us.

"Sir Bobby is held with such great esteem by the people of Dudley because of his great friendship with Duncan Edwards, so we couldn't imagine having a better person to open the facility for us.

"This park will certainly help us keep the name of Duncan going and will help make sure he's never forgotten."

Funding for the floodlit five-a-side football pitch and refurbished tennis courts was finally secured through the government's Liveability scheme two years ago. )

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