Manchester United legend Bill Foulkes dies aged 81

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Former Manchester United defender Bill Foulkes – one of the survivors of the 1958 Munich disaster – has died at the age of 81.

Foulkes, who won one England cap, played 688 times for the club and also went on to win the European Cup with the Red Devils just 10 years after the crash.

According to a spokesperson from the Red Devils, the one-club-man passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.

He made his debut as a 20-year-old against Liverpool in 1952 and although the former miner was originally deployed as a right-back by Sir Matt Busby, he later became an uncompromising centre-half.

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward paid tribute to Foulkes, saying on the club's official website: "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 team-mates 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.The thoughts of everyone at the club – directors, players, staff and fans – are with Bill's family."

Foulkes, who spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford, scored in the semi-final of the 1968 European Cup against Real Madrid and won four English first division titles.

He also captained the side to the 1958 FA Cup final just three months after the plane crash in Germany, and is fourth on the list of all-time appearance makers for Manchester United.

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