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Manchester United: When Assistant Manager Jimmy Murphy Took Over From Matt Busby In 1958

by | 23rd, April 2014

THE last time Manchester United had an interim manger was after the Munich Air Disaster. United’s Assistant Manager Jimmy Murphy didn’t travel to Belgrade with the team due to his commitments as Welsh national manager – Wales were playing Israel in Cardiff on the same night as Red Star Belgrade were due to play Manchester United match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

In this picture dated 06/02/1958, he fields telephone inquiries from concerned fans just hours after the disaster.

 

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Murphy had been in good spirits. Wales beat Israel, securing qualification for the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden.

 

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Shown here are the Welsh team who beat Israel by two goals to nil in the second leg of their World Cup eliminator at Ninian Park, Cardiff on February 5th. The Welshmen now go forward to the finals in Stockholm, beginning of June. Back Row, L to R: Alan Harrington, Stuart Williams, John Charles, John Kelsey, Melvyn Hopkins, Ivor Allchurch, Melvyn Charles. Front Row, L to R: Terence Medwin, Ronald Hewitt, David Bowen, Clifford Jones.
Date: 05/02/1958

 

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Yaacov Hodorov, Israel’s goalkeeper, ‘flies’ parallel with the turf as he brings off a magnificent save in the World Cup eliminator against Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff. Immediately behind the keeper is John Charles, released by his Italian club, Juventus, to play in today’s match. Wales won 2-0 and go forward to the finals in Stockholm.

 

To date, it’s the only time Wales have qualified for the World Cup Finals. Wales lost 1-0 in the quarter-final to Brazil.

 

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Welsh left winger Cliff Jones leaps and heads the ball over Brazil’s right-back Nilton De Sordi towards Brazil’s goal during the World Cup Quarter Final match in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 19, 1958. Brazil scored the only goal in the match and met France in the semi-final.

 

But that was to come. Before that came the terrible news. The chartered aircraft bringing Manchester United home had stopped at Munich’s Riem Airport to refuel. It had crashed on take off. 

Seven of Manchester United’s famous Busby Babes team were killed. Three club officials and 13 others also died. The dead players were: Eddie Colman, 21, Billy Whelan, 22, David Pegg, 22, and Geoff Bent, 25, Tommy Taylor, 26, Roger Byrne, 28, and Duncan Edwards, 21. Jackie Blanchflower, 24, and Johnny Berry, 31, were too badly injured tom play again.

 

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Soccer – European Cup – Quarter Final Second Leg- Red Star Belgrade v Manchester United
Manchester United team group (l-r): Duncan Edwards, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, Ken Morgans, Bobby Charlton, Dennis Viollet, Tommy Taylor, Billy Foulkes, Harry Gregg, Albert Scanlon, Roger Byrne. Date: 06/02/1958

 

Manager Matt Busby was badly hurt. He twice received the last rites. He spent nine weeks in hospital.

 

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Matt Busby, manager of the Manchester United football team which was involved in the Munich air crash, is seen in an oxygen tent at Munich Hospital, Febuary 7th, 1958. Busby was seriously injured in the crash and seven other members of the football team were killed.

 

Jimmy Murphy would remain as Manchester United manager until the end of the 1957–58 season. And for that season, life went on. He needed new players.

 

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Soccer – FA Cup – Fifth Round – Manchester United v Sheffield Wednesday
Manchester United’s acting manager Jimmy Murphy (l) shakes hands with new signing Stan Crowther (c) after completing the signing just 55 minutes before kick off – the FA granted Crowther special permission to play in the Cup tie due to the extenuating circumstances of the Munich Air Disaster. Date: 19/02/1958

 

When Busby returned, Murphy stepped aside. He would go on to work in various capacities at United:

Manager (temporary) (1958)
Assistant manager (1955–1971)
Chief coach (1946–1955)
Reserve team manager (1946–1964)
Full-time scout (1946–1969 and 1973–1977)
Scouting office clerk (1971–1973)
Part-time scout (1977–1989)

 

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Seen here discussing pre season training are Manchester United’s ‘big three’ – (left to right) manager Matt Busby, assistant manager Jimmy Murphy and trainer Jack Crompton. Date: 07/08/1961

 

Success returned to Old Trafford:

 

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enis Law (c) smiles at Manchester United manager Matt Busby (r) as he puts pen to paper, watched by agent Gigi Peronace (l) and United assistant manager Jimmy Murphy (c, back) Date: 12/07/1962

 

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Manchester Utd manager Matt Busby and deputy manager Jimmy Murphy after United had beaten Arsenal 3-1 to become First Division Champions at Old Trafford. Date: 26/04/1965

 

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Soccer – European Cup – Final – Manchester United v Benfica
Manchester United manager Matt Busby (c, r) and his assistant Jimmy Murphy (l, leaning) try to inspire their players before the start of extra time. Date: 29/05/1968

 

Jimmy Murphy died on 14 November 1989.

 



Posted: 23rd, April 2014 | In: manchester united, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink