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Published on Oct 3, 2016
Match Report by Norman Giller
This match is remembered as the finest ever played on the international stage by Duncan Edwards, who was fresh from helping Manchester United win the League championship.
He strode the pitch like a colossus, scoring a scorcher of a goal from twenty yards in the twentieth minute and dominating the entire game both in defence and midfield . Nearly half the 100,000 crowd in the stadium designed by Adolf Hitler were soldiers from the British-occupied zone of Berlin. They staged a delighted pitch invasion when second-half goals from Johnny Haynes and Colin Grainger clinched victory. Fritz Walter, the outstanding German skipper, scored a fine individual goal for the team he had led to the World Cup two years earlier.
The name of Duncan Edwards was on the lips of everybody who saw this match. He was phenomenal. There have been few individual performances to match what he produced in Germany that day. He tackled like a lion, attacked at every opportunity and topped it all off with a cracker of a goal. He was still only twenty, and was already a world-class player. Many of the thousands of British soldiers in the crowd surrounded him at the final whistle and carried him off. England had beaten the world champions in their own back yard
Sir Bobby Charlton; 'I find that I think about Duncan a lot. I have seen all the players who in their time have been labelled the best in the world -- Puskas, Di Stefano, Gento, Didi. John Charles and all the rest -- and not one of them have been as good as Big Duncan. There was no other player in the world like him then, and there has been nobody to equal him since. The man was incomparable.
Sometimes I fear that there is a danger that people will think that we who knew him, and saw him in action, boost him because he is dead. Sentiment can throw a man's judgement out of perspective. Yet it is not the case with him. Whatever the praise one likes to heap on Duncan is no more than he deserved. He was out on his own at left-half and a First Division player in every other position. There was no one else to start with him.
I am not a person to dramatize things or dispense fulsome praise. It is not in my make-up. A man is a good player or he is not. A few are great, and they deserve respect. But Duncan Edwards was the greatest. I see him in my mind's eye and I wonder that anyone should have so much talent. He was simply the greatest of them all.'