Bill Foulkes was one of the few survivors of Munich Air Disaster. He was a pivotal character in Manchester United’s post-war history and his contribution to the rebuilding of the team after the great tragedy. Foulkes was known as ‘Popular Bill’ for his brutal take-no-prisoners tackling in matches and also practice sessions, even with aspiring juniors, even when he was club captain.
Here are a few quotes on Bill Foulkes:
“He was as hard as nails, as tough as teak – I was always glad I didn’t have to play against him. He was a really, really good defensive player and you could say he helped change the course of history for United.”
“Bill was a giant character in the post-war history of Manchester United. He was a very gentle man, who I was privileged to meet on several occasions, including most memorably with his teammates at the Champions League final in Moscow, 50 years after his heroics in the Munich air crash.
Bill’s contribution over almost 700 games and nearly 20 years will never be forgotten.”
– Ed Woodward
“When I first came in as manager, Bill was managing in Norway and he used to bring players over to training at the Cliff. He came to training quite a lot and I got to know him well through that. He was such a nice, quiet man to know. The story of his life was absolutely incredible and he’s assured of his place in our history by his appearances and by the way he performed, particularly in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster. Having gone through that, how he and Harry Gregg managed to perform a couple of weeks later, leading those young lads out against Sheffield Wednesday – and winning the game – was absolutely incredible. He was an exceptional man.”
“[Bill Foulkes was] Great servant to the club.”
– Rio Ferdinand