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Manchester United pay tribute to former Busby Babe Jeff Whitefoot after death aged 90… while Nottingham Forest salute FA Cup-winning hero

Manchester United pay tribute to former Busby Babe Jeff Whitefoot after death aged 90… while Nottingham Forest salute FA Cup-winning hero

  • Jeff Whitefoot was part of Manchester United’s original Busby Babes
  • He played for Grimsby Town and won the 1959 FA Cup with Nottingham Forest.
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Manchester United and Nottingham Forest have paid tribute to former star Jeff Whitefoot following his death aged 90.

Whitefoot was part of the original Busby Babes, led by legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby.

He became Manchester United’s youngest ever league debutant in April 1950 when he played against Portsmouth at Old Trafford aged 16 years and 105 days.

Whitefoot made 95 appearances in all competitions for Man United, being part of the title-winning side in 1955/56.

Manchester United issued a statement expressing their “deep sadness” at Whitefoot’s death.

Jeff Whitefoot, aged 16, was interviewed by the BBC with Jimmy Murphy and Matt Busby in 1950
Whitefoot was part of Manchester United’s championship-winning team in the 1955/56 season.
He moved to Grimsby in 1957, before signing for Nottingham Forest less than a year later.

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“We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of former Busby Babe Jeff Whitefoot, who has passed away aged 90,” Manchester United said.

‘One of the original Busby Babes, Jeff joined the Reds straight from school in the summer of 1949 as an office boy and midfielder, quickly distinguishing himself as competent in the former role and extremely promising in the latter.

‘A beautifully balanced athlete, whose control of the ball was delightfully assured with either foot, Jeff had an almost serene style, a rare quality in a young player.

“He read the action intelligently and excelled at clever interceptions; he made quick tackles and was extremely competitive in the air for a player of such small stature.”

Whitefoot left Man United in 1957, having lost his place in the team to Eddie Colman, prompting him to submit a transfer request.

He arrived at Grimsby Town months before the Munich air disaster, which killed 23 people, including eight Manchester United players and three members of the club’s staff.

Whitefoot spent less than a year at Grimsby, before returning to the top flight with Nottingham Forest.

Forest joined Man United in paying tribute to Whitefoot, highlighting how he cemented his place in club folklore in his first season.

Nottingham Forest have joined tributes to Whitefoot, a member of the 1959 FA Cup-winning side
Whitefoot was the last surviving member of Nottingham Forest’s FA Cup-winning squad

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“Jeff quickly established himself at the club, where he made 285 appearances in all competitions under the management of Billy Walker, Andy Beattie and then Johnny Carey,” a Forest statement read.

‘Jeff’s greatest achievement at Forest came in his debut season when Walker’s side defeated Luton Town at Wembley to win the FA Cup for the second time, with his first of seven goals for the club coming in the fourth round of the competition against his former side Grimsby Town.

‘For almost a decade, Jeff was a key part of the team as the Reds competed in the First Division, and during his final full season, the team achieved what was their best league performance at the time, finishing second in the First Division behind only his former club Manchester United.’

Whitefoot has been described as the last of the original Busby Babes, as well as the last surviving member of the Nottingham Forest team to lift the FA Cup in 1959.