Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1950 & 59

Edward Colman (1936 - 1958)

Eddie Colman was one of Manchester United's "Busby Babes" who perished in the Munich Air Disaster of 6th February 1958.


He was born in Salford on 1st November 1936. His father was Richard Colman (1909 – 1986) a Chemical Labourer and his mother was Elizabeth (nee Purcell) Colman (1909 – 1971). They were married in 1935 at St Clement's Church, Salford. The family lived at 9 Archie Street, Salford.


Eddie was selected to play for Salford Schoolboys and Lancashire County, whilst at Ordsall School. He was recruited by Manchester United in 1952 as an amateur and then turned professional in November 1953. He had a successful career in United's Youth team that won the FA Youth Cup for three successive seasons between 1952 and 1955, the last one as captain.


Eddie Colman's League debut came shortly after his nineteenth birthday, when he was doing his National Service as a Signalman at Catterick Army Camp. It was a match against Bolton Wanderers on 12th November 1955. He played right half back and retained that position until his untimely death. He struck up an irresistible understanding with Duncan Edwards (who also died at Munich) and won League championship medals in his debut year and in 1957. He was also a member of United's FA Cup team which lost to Aston Villa in the 1957 FA Cup Final.


Although Eddie was only 5 feet 7 inches tall and slightly built, he made up for it by his lively and whole-hearted approach, ball-winning skills and creative distribution. His dazzling dribbles and deceptive body swerve earned him the nick-name "Snake hips" from the appreciative Old Trafford crowd. Eddie was only 21 when he died at Munich. He had played 107 games for United including 13 European appearances.


The funeral was held on Friday 14th February. Hours before the service at St Clement's Church, Ordsall, hundreds of mourners began to enter the church. Many were standing at the rear and further admission had to be refused. Hundreds of people lined the route to Weaste Cemetery. A police patrol car led the cortege of 27 cars, four of which were laden with wreathes. The pall bearers were Manchester United colleagues, John Beardmore, Gordon Clayton, Stephen Fleet, Thomas Wilkinson, Brian Stones and Wilf McGuinness, who later became Manager of Manchester United. At the graveside were the Mayor and Mayoress of Manchester, Mayor and Mayoress of Stretford, Jack Rowley, Sandy Busby (son of Matt Busby),  Jimmy Murphy (Assistant Manager), schoolmates and youth team members.


Three weeks later, the Salford City Reporter records a pleasing token of respect as a Mrs Daniels and her friends and relations had clubbed together to buy a silver cup. "The Eddie Colman Sports Cup" to be presented to Ordsall Secondary Modern School, as a reminder to the boys of a local man who made the grade in sport by giving always of his best.