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by CarlAbbott1
2 weeks, 4 days ago

Eddie Colman

EDDIE COLMAN
Extract on Eddie Colman from The Day TWO Teams Died (Amazon Books).

Born: 01 Nov 1936, Salford
Debut: 12 Nov 1955 v Bolton (A) League
Goals: 2
Appearances: 108
Position: Half back

Eddie “Snakehips” Colman was a local lad. A crowd-pleasing half-back in a team of crowd pleasers. He was full of raw ability, but according to Jimmy Murphy in this interview with Archie Ledbrooke & Frank McGhee, it was a talent that had to be carefully honed:
‘Anyone can spot a Duncan Edwards. The true art of scouting is to see something the others have missed." We can cite the case of Eddie Colman, currently starring at right half in the first team and probably the finest uncapped player in the country. Eddie was not a schoolboy international, like so many brilliant United youngsters. Other clubs were not interested in him. He was under-sized. His football was all wrong. He persisted in holding the ball rather than passing. “But we saw something in him," says Murphy. "So we signed him . . . and then had to reverse all his natural football instincts”’

Murphy’s instinct (as always) was proved right. Once established, he was an ever present for United. Old International described his snake hips this way as he reported on the 10-0 demolition of Anderlecht in 1956 ‘Colman… with his amusing “shimmy shakes” and body wiggles’. Henry Rose was briefer but just as memorable describing it as a ‘Monroe wriggle’. He was more than a showman though – he was a brilliantly effective player for United. This report describing Eddie at his finest, is also Donny Davies at his brilliant enjoyable but effective best.
‘The feature of the first half was a brilliant display by Colman. Never has this gifted young half-back intervened more cleverly, used the ball more wisely, or sold his dummies more slyly, than in this instance. He had on the other side, a formidable rival by the name of Scoular; himself a strong tackler, a wise distributor, and a subtle tactician in the Newcastle interest, and one who was plainly determined to leave his mark, if not on the players, at any rate on the proceedings. It is to Scoular’s credit that in spite of the overwhelming odds, against him, he like his goalkeeper, Simpson, left the field at the close with his reputation if anything slightly enhanced But in comparison with Colman's joyous and effective artistry Scoular's work, though telling seemed heavy and laboured. Colman might have been the “premier danseur" in a Footballers' Ballet and Scoular the dogged leader of a Chain Gang. One of these days, perhaps, when Colman is in the mood, we shall have the Beswick Prize Band accompanying him with snatches of reasonably tuneful ballet music—say from Swan Lake. Then we shall see the little fellow at his best.’