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Title: The commemorative activity at the grave of Munich Air Disaster victim, Duncan Edwards : a social and cultural analysis of the commemorative networks of a local sporting hero
Author: Rogers, Gayle
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 3524
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2017
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The Munich Air Disaster claimed the lives of 23 people in a plane crash in Munich in 1958. It is a significant event within modern England’s cultural history as a number of Manchester United footballers, known as the Busby Babes were amongst the dead. The players who died have continued to be extensively commemorated, especially Duncan Edwards. This research considers the commemorative activity associated with Edwards since his death and was initiated when the researcher pondered the extensive commemorative activity by strangers that she encountered at the family grave of her cousin Edwards. The commemoration of the Disaster and of Edwards has been persistent and various with new acts of commemoration continuing conspicuously even after fifty years since the event. Such unique activity particularly demonstrated at Edwards’ grave was considered worthy of further investigation to ascertain why such activity was occurring at such a volume. Although general historical and biographical accounts of the Disaster and Edwards are apparent, specific research concerning the commemoration of the event was not evident. The researcher set out to identify who the commemorators were, why they were undertaking dedicatory acts and what those acts manifest as. At Edwards’ grave the offerings left upon it were regularly documented from 2010-2014 and analysed. Interviews with identified significant commemorators were undertaken including Edwards’ family members and fans. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken and relevant online sources and data were also examined in order to inform a distinct social and cultural analysis of the event within the context of its commemoration. The study focussed upon the researcher’s connection to the subject, commemorators, memorials, commemorative objects and sites. Although there was a distinct personal element to the research, the data collected was analysed in the wider context of commemoration, the perception of heroes and attitudes towards the dead, death and dying. This research specifically considers the commemoration of Disaster victim Duncan Edwards as a local sporting hero. The unique contribution to the knowledge and understanding of this research topic is principally through the generation and interrogation of new research data, created from fieldwork undertaken at Edwards’ grave and from interviews with significant commemorators. The interview-generated research data from certain Edwards’ family members was only possible to attain because of the researcher’s particular ancestral link to the interviewees.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: C640 - Sport studies