MANCHESTER UNITED will unveil a statue in honour of legendary coach Jimmy Murphy in May.
The club announced the monument will be erected outside the Stretford End at Old Trafford on May 3 – 65 years since he did the impossible and led a wounded United to the FA Cup Final at Wembley.
Manchester United legend Jimmy Murphy, in the front row in black jacket and light trousers, led the Busby Babes after the Munich Air DisasterHulton Archive – Getty
Murphy is one of the most influential figures in the Red Devils’ history having served as famous manager Sir Matt Busby’s assistant for 25 years.
The Welshman, who died in 1989 aged 79, was with the Manchester giants from 1946 until the 1970s and was integral in the development of the Busby Babes after the Munich Air Disaster in 1958.
The former Wales head coach was essential in the club’s recovery from its darkest period as he took over as caretaker manager for five months while Busby was recovering.
Murphy put together a makeshift team of players, who replaced the eight legends that died and others who were recovering, and led them to the FA Cup final just three months after the plane crash.
United lost 2-0 to Bolton that day but the caretaker manager’s success helped the club rise from its ashes during its biggest crisis.
United’s chief operating officer Collette Roche told United’s official website: “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 Munich tragedy, Jimmy was the man who held this club together and built a team that reached the FA Cup final.
” No matter the result, it was a remarkable achievement to even be at Wembley – something that, on 6 February 1958, seemed inconceivable.
“It is fitting that this wonderful statue should be unveiled on 3 May, 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.”
United fans took to social media to praise the club’s initiative and pay tribute to Murphy.
Manchester United will unveil a statue in honour of Jimmy MurphyBradley Ormesher – The Times
One supporter tweeted: “Wonderful, and thoroughly deserved.”
Another posted: “Took long enough. Should’ve been with sir Matt.”
A third said: “It’s about time, the late great Welshman saved the club in its hour of need. RIP Jimmy lad.”
This fan commented: “Fantastic news, long overdue.”
And another tweeted: “The saviour of Man Utd.”