Footballer

Considered by many old-timers as the finest Maltese goalkeeper of the pre-World War II era, Edwards was born in Cospicua. His eldest brother, George, kept goal for St George’s before he migrated to America at the end of  World War I. Another brother, Johnnie, was a classic fullback for Hibernians, Sliema Wanderers, and St George’s.

Known as ‘Busuni’, Edwards started his career in 1931 with Hibernians in the Amateur League. When Hibs were promoted to the First Division in 1932, he was a prominent member of the team. He was an instant success in the First Division and the other clubs started to cast covetous eyes on Hibs’ brilliant goalkeeper. The following season, however, he was found guilty of causing the postponement of a match between Hibs and Sliema and was suspended for the whole of season 1933-1934.

In 1935 Sliema’s regular goalkeeper, Joe Naudi, retired from competitive football and Edwards was persuaded to take his place. He stayed with Sliema up to season 1938-39, helping the Wanderers to win the league 3 times, the FA Trophy twice, and the Cassar Cup twice.

In 1939 he joined St George’s. It was a memorable season for Cospicua and the Saints won the Christmas Cup. During the war he joined the RAF, keeping goal regularly for the Command XI which at the time was full of British professionals.

After the war, Edwards rejoined his old clubs Sliema and Hibernians on an on-and-off basis but both clubs had younger replacements. Edwards was noted for the way he covered his penalty area as an extra fullback, something which is so admired nowadays in international goalkeepers.

He also played 16 games with Malta’s national football team.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.

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