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Mike Duxbury 1976-1990 345 Games 7 Golas

February 16, 2010

Written by: Adam Carpenter

Mike Duxbury was born in Accrington on 1st September 1959. He grew up as a young lad in Lancashire and was signed up to the Everton youth team at a very early age. The Merseyside club could see that the boy had the potential but as he played out a few more years on Merseyside and then it come to Manchester United persuading Everton to lure him to Old Trafford. When Mike was 16 years old he signed as a trainee for Manchester United, and he duly accepted the contract offer when he heard that Tommy Docherty was howling his name. Duxbury had to wait around 5 years or so until he could make his debut for the United first team. It came at the start of the 1980-1981 seasons against Birmingham City from the bench albeit.

Mike was predominantly a right back but could play anywhere along the back line if need be. He struggled to really make an impact as a first team regular for the next couple of years as he was mainly playing understudy to the likes of the wonderful Arthur Albiston and the inform John Gidman. Mike was still a very handy player to have in the squad though and whenever an injury came along to one of the players he never failed to disappoint when he stepped into the side. The unfortunate thing was it was a very rare sight to see Arthur Albiston or John Gidman injured. Duxbury started to adapt to the centre back role and helped out there for a few years and then he started to get more of a chance at his natural position at right back.

Duxbury was around the normal build for a defender, not at all the tallest player there has ever been but was no pocket rocket either. He was always to really play second fiddle to Albiston but when Arthur was one of the finest ever full backs fin the long illustrious history of this club, who can really argue with Duxbury being second choice? Mike was never the strongest player or the quickest, but he had the footballing knowledge in his brain and could read the game like a book. One of Mike’s biggest games in the United shirt came in the 1983 FA cup final replay where United won 4-0. Duxbury was playing at right back that day and turned in a performance no United fan could argue about. 2 years later he was disappointingly used as a substitute when united made it to Wembley again for another FA cup final. He did come off the bench for Arthur Albiston but didn’t really have all that much time to make an impact on the game but he was delighted that his team were to hold off Merseyside rivals Everton in a dramatic but nail biting 1-0 victory for Untied, after extra time.

As Duxbury was starting to get increasingly frustrated at the lack of appearances he was making towards the end of his Manchester United days, he had spent a long 14 years and served the club well, but he thought it was time to move on and in doing so he joined Blackburn Rovers in 1990 for a free transfer, after he was yet again left out of another FA cup final starting X1, this time to Crystal Palace.

To keep himself occupied nowadays Mike is starting work on coaching. He has been around the world to help the Manchester united soccer schools as a scout. His aim is to bring talents around the world into the English game and adapt to that.
I never witnessed Duxbury play, but in my opinion I think he sort of sounds like a 1970’s John O’Shea type of player, who has never really been always the first choice, but whenever he has played has never let anyone down and is a very loyal servant to this club and a definite team player. He has ensured himself as a Manchester United great for sure.

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