"IS Duncan playing?" was a question often asked by youngsters in Dudley during the late 1940s and early 50s looking to see the future star in action.

George Clee, now aged 70 of Blowers Green Crescent, Dudley, was one of those youngsters.

He said: "Duncan was six months older than me.

"You can't compare anyone to Duncan. He is still remembered now.

"Even when he was 11 he was that much bigger than everyone else.

"If you look back at the books you will see that in the Busby Babes' side Duncan is the only recognised world-class.

"I went down to Wembley to watch him playing for England in the schoolboy internationals."

John Hall, of Kilburn Place, Netherton, was a footballing foe of Duncan's in his school days.

The now 71-year-old said: "I used to play for Church School in Netherton and Duncan played for the Priory School. He would have only been about 10 or 12 then.

"He used to be a centre-half and he used to be a big chap then.

"He was really good. You would have a job getting past him."

FROM sitting next to him in class at Wolverhampton Street School, knocking in crosses to him in the playground to watching his old friend play for his country at Wembley- Tommy Millinson remembers Duncan with warmth.

Tommy, of the Old Park Farm Estate in Dudley, remembers playing alongside Duncan for the Wolverhampton Street School's under 13s side, winning the cup in their second year.

He said: "We got on very well together.

"He was a smashing lad, modest but confident about his football.

"I would keep crossing balls for him at school to his left foot.

"Everytime he played for England Schoolboys he came back to school on the Monday telling us about what he had eaten, things like melon that we never had."

WE all know about Duncan Edwards the footballer but Duncan Edwards the Morris Dancer? His music master at Wolverhampton Street School Reg Baxter, now 82, explains.

Reg, of Buffery Road, Dudley, said: "It was like watching ballet watching him perform with bells on his ankles.

"Duncan was a pretty hefty boy but so light on his feet. He was a member of the school Morris Dancing team, Sword Dancing team and loved to dance."

Roger Hancox remembers the fateful day of the Munich air crash. He was an 11-year-old boy playing on one of the pitches Duncan graced at the Wrens Nest on February 6, 1958.

He said: "We played at 1pm on the day, I played for Hillcrest School against Wolverhampton Street School.

"We didn't know until we got home and we watched the six o'clock news."

Mr J Read, of Blackbrook Road, Netherton, had first-hand experience of Duncan's talent as a schoolboy.

He said: "I first remember Duncan, playing against him in a schoolboys match on Netherton Park in 1951.

"I played for Wolverhampton Street School and we lost 7-1, he scored four goals.

"I tackled him in the game and I only saw his feet he was gone in a flash. Built like a tank.

"The next time I saw him, I was doing National Service in Berlin. He played for England v West Germany on May 26, 1956 in the Olympic Stadium. He scored in a 3-1 victory.

"Well it's sad to miss a most talented player ever to play for Manchester United and England."

Even when he became an England international star, Duncan was still down to earth, according to Ken Prichard, of Church Road, Netherton.

He said: "My outstanding memory came four years after I left Dudley Technical College, at the old bus station below the zoo.

"Walking along the pavement towards me this well-built, six footer I couldn't fail to recognise, Duncan, he was then playing for England and featured on the back of every newspaper.

"Attempting to slip past, you don't normally speak to such celebrities, especially if you haven't seen them for four years, I was arrested by the England stars greeting Hy'a mate, How you doin'.

"To me that sums up Duncan Edwards, despite all his world fame, a Dudley bloke with a special humility who never forgot his roots."

Peter Baron, of Dudley, said: "The football produced by Duncan Edwards and co was just as breathtaking as some of the stuff produced by the first-team today."

Frank Millward, of Cedarwood Road, Dudley, said: "My memory of Duncan Edwards is not in victory but defeat.

"I remember playing against Duncan but not at footbakll but cricket. I opened the batting with Jimmy Shakespeare for Wrens Nest Juniors and Duncan was wicket keeperfor Priory Juniors.

"Wrens Nest were again the winners."

Don James, of Barnett Close, Kingswinford, said: "We didn't at the time appreciate the fact that Duncan was only about eleven and held his own with lads some four or five years older than himself."

Alan Wedge, of Spencer Close, Sedgley, said: "Duncan showed great skill even in those early years. It seemed that the ball was attached to his feet.

"I will always remember him as a team player and a gentleman, I can't think of a finer epitaph."

Tom Whorton, The Alley, Gornal Wood, said: "When I was about 15, a number of lads from Dudley streets used to play football at the bottom of Priory Park.

"Unfortunately in those days we had to scrape a few coppers between us to buy a football. This is where Duncan was a blessing in disguise due to his father buying him a complete football, enabling him to dictate whether to play or not."

Mike Jones, now of Willenhall, was a fellow pupil at Priory School and a goalkeeper, sharing the pitch with The Tank' in 1948.

He said: "My early recollections of Duncan was when we met at the Priory School on Saturday mornings and walked up to Kates Hill School with our kit on and our boots slung around our necks and later when we played together at Dudley Sports Centre.

"I was then a right winger and Duncan played behind me.

"Duncan was a man among boys, a strong but always a fair player."

Malcolm Prince, of Newport, Shropshire, said: "Like Duncan, I attended the local junior and infants school before moving to Wolverhampton Street Secondary Modern School.

"Being keen on football myself, I became friendly with Duncan and remember meeting up with him and other local lads for a kickabout on the nearby Bluebell Park. Obviously, everyone wanted to be on Duncan's side!

"Duncan was a antural footballer and I feel that, had he suvived, he would have won a record number of caps and been the England captain."

Peter Baron, of Dudley, said: "The football produced by Duncan Edwards and co was just breathtaking as some of the stuff produced by the first-team today.

"After he broke into the first-team, what stood out from te rest was the combination of qualities.

"His reputation today is perhaps for the strength of his tackling and the quality of his distribution over long distances but he had everything. For a big man, Duncan could dribble almost as well. He had vision, positional sense and leadership.

"When he took over the job of penalty taker, despite the density with which Old Trafford, particularly the famous Stretford End, was packed.

"If United were awarded a penalty, the crowd literally parted behind the goal- just in case he missed!"

Fred Barnett said: "As a schoolboy, sitting on a grassy bank on Netherton Park and watching my school, Netherton Northfield Road Secondary Modern, play a school from Dudley and seeing one of their players hit the ball from near the halfway line and watching the ball stay one foot from the ground all the way into the back of my school's goal.

"I later leant that the one who hit the ball was named Duncan Edwards."

Richard Sumnall said: "The Busby Babes gave us Manchester United Football Club not Manutd, it is not a brand, not a business but a legacy.

"Duncan I thank you for giving me a love, a faith, a passion, a hobby that is Manchester United Football Club.

"The legends live on."

David Field, of Sale, Manchester, said: "As a Manchester United fan of 27 years of age, of Mancunian stock and living and working in Manchester, I have never heard someone from outside our city held in the same regard as Duncan Edwards.

"The affection he is held in, particularly around Old Trafford is probably only matched by George Best.

"I appreciate that only today's elder generation saw him play, but for me he had the potential to be the greatest player ever.

"The greatest accolade I have ever heard bestowed on him was that Bobby Moore may not have played in the 1966 World Cup had it not been for Duncan's untimely death.

"Maybe it would have been true, maybe not, but Sir Matt Busby unearthed a gem in Edwards and it is only fitting that he and his team-mates are remembered so graciously 50 years after a most unfortunate tragedy. Rest in Peace."

Thomas Shaw, of Cinder Bank Road, Gornal Wood, said: "I knew Duncan for about 10 years. We both played in the same school football team and even then he was a ginat.

"PE teacher Mr Martin called us together and gave out the boxing gloves and always paired me and Duncan together. Talk about David and Golaith, but we took it in good heart."