Matt Busby's assistant Jimmy Murphy to get statue at Old Trafford

Legendary Manchester United assistant Jimmy Murphy, who took over running of the first team while Sir Matt Busby lay fighting for his life after the 1958 Munich air crash, is to finally be honoured with a statue at Old Trafford after campaign by fans

  • Jimmy Murphy joined the club’s staff as Sir Matt Busby’s first signing in 1946 
  • The Welshman performed a number of roles across four decades at the club 
  • He temporarily took charge of the first team in following the Munich tragedy
  • Statue follows campaign by supporters’ groups and former players’ association

Sir Matt Busby’s legendary assistant Jimmy Murphy is to be honoured by Manchester United with a statue at Old Trafford.

Murphy worked for United in different full-time capacities between 1946 and 1971 and is best known for taking charge of the first-team in 1958 while Sir Matt Busby recovered in hospital following the Munich air crash.

Also Wales manager at the time, Murphy had missed the fateful European Cup tie in Belgrade because his national team had been involved in a World Cup play-off against Israel the previous day.

Sir Matt Busby’s (2nd R) legendary assistant Jimmy Murphy (L) will get a statue at Old Trafford

The permanent memorial to Murphy, who died in 1989, follows a campaign by United supporters’ groups and their former players’ association and will be welcomed after a disappointing week in which they were beaten on penalties in the Europa League final.

United are due to make a statement on Friday confirming Murphy’s statue having already given that recognition to the Holy Trinity George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton.

A book about his life, The Man Who Kept the Red Flag Flying, was published in 2018 with comments and contributions from United managers Sir Alex Ferguson, Tommy Docherty and Ron Atkinson.

Murphy became Busby’s assistant in 1955 and stayed in the role for 16 years. He also managed Wales between 1956 and 1964 and took then to the World Cup finals in 1958.

‘No-one outside the club will ever know how important he was to our success,’ Busby said.

Murphy (R) became Busby’s (C) assistant in 1955 and stayed in the role for 16 years

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