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Statue of Wales boss Jimmy Murphy to be unveiled at Manchester United

27 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Jimmy Murphy (Credit: MUFC)

Manchester United have confirmed that a statue of club legend, Rhondda-born Jimmy Murphy, will be unveiled at Old Trafford on May 3 next year.

The statue will celebrate Jimmy’s “immense contribution” to the club.

Until the World Cup in Qatar, the legendary Welshman, who managed Wales between 1956 and 1964, was the only person to have led his country to a World Cup.

Collette Roche, United’s chief operating officer, said: “Jimmy Murphy was one of the most important figures in the history of this great club.

“He was not only Sir Matt Busby’s chief coach and then assistant for 25 years, but, perhaps most importantly, led us out of the darkest period in our history.

“In those terrible days after the 1958 Munich tragedy, Jimmy was the man who held this club together and built a team that reached the 1958 FA Cup final.”

Roche said it had been a remarkable achievement to be at Wembley – something that only three months earlier had seemed inconceivable.

She said: “It is fitting that this wonderful statue should be unveiled on May 3 – the date of that final against Bolton Wanderers – and at the Stretford End overlooking the land where Jimmy used to train the Busby Babes.

“It will add to existing statues of Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson, and the ‘United Trinity’ of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law outside Old Trafford.”

Terry Medwin scoring for Wales against Hungary at the 1958 World Cup (Credit: Harry Medwin)

Jimmy, who coached Wales to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1958 where they were beaten by a goal from a young 17-year-old Brazilian called Pele, played a crucial role as a coach and later assistant manager to Busby between 1946 and 1971.

He was integral in the development of the Busby Babes, including Sir Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards, and led the club’s recovery after the Munich air disaster.

The club agreed that his crucial contribution to the rebuilding of United deserved a permanent tribute at Old Trafford.
Members of Jimmy’s family have been involved in the planning for the statue.

Jimmy, who played most of his club football for WBA and won 15 caps for Wales, was born in Pentre in 1910 and died in Manchester in 1989.

In 2009, a blue plaque was placed on his former family home in Treharne Street, Pentre.

Read more: Jimmy Murphy’s English great-granddaughter is supporting Wales at the World Cup

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