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Eddie Lewis – Farewell to a Busby Babe

Eddie Lewis, one of the original Busby Babes, has sadly lost his battle with cancer today. He was born in Manchester in 1935 and played for Goslings before joining the Manchester United Junior Athletic Club.

Lewis joined United in 1947 and made a total of 24 appearances, scoring 11 goals. He left United for Preston and played for West Ham the season the Munich Air Disaster occurred.

He later played for Leyton Orient and Folkestone Town before emigrating to South Africa in 1970 where he initially sold insurance.

Lewis then returned to his love of football as a manager of Wits University, where he won the 1978 Mainstay Cup which he regarded as the highlight of his career. He also had successful stints at Kaizer Chiefs, Giant Blackpool, Moroka Swallows and many other leading clubs.

In 2007, as a 72-year, Lewis was appointed Technical Advisor to one of the leading football clubs in South Africa, Moroka Swallows, after spending 37 years being involved in the development of South African football.

It was reported on KickOff that Sir Alex Ferguson gave Lewis a call last month after his condition deteriorated.

“Eddie was thrilled with the call from Sir Alex,” said his good friend Greg Jacoby. “He said, ‘Greg, you won’t believe who phoned me – Sir Alex Ferguson!’ Fergie had heard through the Ex-Pros that Eddie was not well, so he phoned him up to wish him all the best.”

1953 – 1954 Manchester United Youth Team in Bangor, Northern Ireland at the Hotel Pickie.

Back row, l-r, Ian Greaves, Walter Whitehurst, Tommy Barratt, Gordon Clayton, Alan Rhodes, Paddy Kennedy, Brace Fulton, Hotel Manager (name unknown)
Middle row, l-r, Eddie Lewis, Bill Inglis (Trainer), Jimmy Murphy, Bert Whalley, Noel McFarlane
Front row, l-r,Sammy Chapman, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Billy Whelan, Albert Scanlon

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Dave says:

    RIP Eddie. I know there’s been a more important death this morning, but the news could have at the very least given a passing mention to Eddie.

  2. theboogeyman says:

    RIP Eddie.

  3. Cyril Sneer says:

    R.I.P Eddie

  4. NASEN says:

    Wow! Didn’t know Eddie Lewis was a Busby Babe, he used to be a presenter on our football channel (supersport3) in SA along with Gary Bailey and Terry Paine(Southamton), good coach aswell, RIP.

  5. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    RIP Eddie Lewis.

  6. kennethkuanda says:

    cheers eddie will miss your debates

  7. T4M says:


  8. max says:

    RIP Eddie! Will miss u on Supersport 3 in South Africa…your love and knowledge for the game was immense! #legend

  9. willierednut says:

    RIP Eddie and the Babes.

  10. deano says:

    RIP Eddie! Great loss for South African Football! Will miss you on bSupersport 3! Your knowlede + love for football was immense! #legend

  11. Giles Oakley says:

    It’s good to see RoM marking Eddie Lewis’s death in this respectful and informative way. It’s also very pleasing to hear about Sir Alex phoning him , having heard that his illness was getting worse. I Saw Eddie play for Leyton Orient but must admit I only have the most general of memories. A hard-working, intelligent sort of player is the impression I have of him, with a strong tem ethic, as you’d expect with his pedigree. I didn’t know about his South African career, and it’s nice that people there remember him well. RIP Eddie, and condolences to his family.

  12. bobbycharlie1968 says:

    R.I.P Eddie Lewis

  13. slim says:

    Rest in peace Mr Lewis, used to watch him as a pundit on supersport, class act the man

  14. Kings says:

    R.I.P Eddie Lewis.

  15. Hargo's Curly Hair says:

    Rest In Peace Eddie Lewis
    Condolences to his family

  16. MG says:

    One more down

    And so it was that the last time the Busby Babes played in this country was befitting of the team that believed.

    They beat Arsenal 5-4 to capture what would be the soul of the team that would never ever come back to these shores.

    Yesterday Manchester United lost to Arsenal but that’s all that happened.

    Manchester United will never die – and will never give up. We may have been beaten but we are still standing.

    We lose only that grace this shirt – nothing else is equal.

  17. The Major says:

    Rest in peace, Eddie.

  18. YorYor says:

    RIP Eddie Lewis.

    I suspect that no other club manager would ever do something like this. Do they even know their club’s previous players?

  19. carloc1978 says:

    r.i.p eddie lewis

  20. orez says:

    I am sure he had a great life.

  21. Sir Ryan Giggs says:

    R.I.P Eddie, the babes and Sir Matt.

  22. RedFilip says:

    Rest In Peace Eddie Lewis
    Condolences to his family
    You will be greeted with open arms in Heaven by all the other fallen Heroes of Manchester United !!!!!!

  23. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Condolences to the family.
    Eddie will be remembered well. A bright and able player who went on to give back to the sport.

    Here is a local SA link with a photo and a list of some of his coaching accomplishments.

    R.I.P Eddie Lewis

  24. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Just spotted an even better article on Eddie. Worth a read.

  25. Utsava Sharma says:

    RIP eddie. Unfortunately never saw the babes in action.You will always be remembered.

  26. Dandivine7 says:


  27. CedarsDevil says:

    RIP Eddie and condolences to all your loved ones…. Still get goose bumps every time I remember how my late father spoke to me about the BABES and especially Duncan Edwards….


  28. jbuckton123 says:

    they say famous people die in threes , Henry cooper, Osama Bin Laden and Eddie lewis….. Shame Eddie had to be put with these two tosspots !!

    Brilliant guy , Fantastic pro footballer and a true manchester united Unsung hero !!

    Well done Eddie baby !!

  29. annatjie fraser says:

    R.I.P Eddie. You fought so bravely but it was just to powerful. We will miss you. Steph our thoughts are with you and Eddie’s family. Love from all at Amici.

  30. james21 says:

    Just like our WW2 Hero’s Getting fewer and fewer. Never forget. RIP Eddie

  31. Rai says:

    RIP Eddie Lewis

  32. Samuel - united WE stand says:

    Rest in peace eddie lewis.

  33. Harsh says:

    RIP Eddie Lewis

  34. RedScot says:

    RIP,Mr Lewis.

  35. RedsWhiteBlacks says:


  36. ogaorekwe says:

    Mr Eddie Lewis! When I did not see you on Supersport chair for a long time just thought you had retired. I was not aware that you were not well. This is not time to cry but to celebrate the life that was, the talent you had, what you brough to South African football until the day you were not able to appear on television anymore. You rest a great man.

    Its time to let you go and may your soccer soul rest in Peace

    Oitlogetse Gaorekwe

  37. Stan Hibbert says:

    From a Man City fan, a true gent who helped me enormously in South Africa.

    RIP Eddie, you can play in peace now, with the mates you lost so young.

  38. Onside says:

    Eddie was superb for us in 1952-53. May he rest in peace.

  39. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Am I the only one to notice that they are standing outside a hotel called pickie. Is that pickie (unaware of spelling) as in “What key opens every door, a pickie” or is it something different.

  40. Sean Esterhuizen says:

    My coach in 1974 — you lent me your own soft soccer boots when mine were all torn from playing for Southern Transvaal at the south african schools tournament in Bloemfontein. Generous and kind. A great man! Never forgotten!

  41. clayton says:

    R.I.P. Eddie

  42. Beamish says:

    I played for Eddie when he was manager at Ford United in England in the sixties, great motivator and very good man. Thanks Eddie


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