By the time Duncan was playing for Priory Primary School his footballing skill was already being noticed. Geoff Groves, the schoolmaster watching the 11 year old noted that the youngster ‘told all the other 21 players what to do and where to go and that included the referee and linesmen’.
In April 1951, he stood on the hallowed turf at Wembley, wearing a white England shirt playing against Wales in a school international. His footwork dazzled everyone and one talent scout was heard to remark ‘by God, they’ve got a good ‘un there!’
At the age of 14, a Manchester United scout recommended the manager and future mentor of Duncan, Matt Busby, go to Dudley and watch the boy for himself. Busby did visit and watch. Over two years the club watched him develop.
On 4 June 1952, Bert Whalley, club coach, drove through the night to get to Duncan's house for sunrise to make sure he signed the contract with the Old Trafford outfit. Duncan made his debut for Manchester United at the age of 16 years and 185 days becoming the youngest player to feature in a top-flight game.
Duncan Edwards will forever be associated with Manchester United and the ‘Busby Babes’, a concept developed by United’s Manager Matt Busby in the late 1940’s when the club was badly in debt and unable to afford to buy ‘expensive’ players. Busby and the club's assistant manager, Jimmy Murphy decided to employ a radical youth policy developing their own young players. This was a way of creating the stars of the future.
Three and half years later Duncan celebrated his 100th appearance for United and the ‘Busby Babes’.
He was called to the senior England team, in 1955, at the age of 18. 'Big Dunc' earned 17 caps for his country, netting five times.