William Augustine Whelan was born in Dublin on the 1st of April 1935 but sadly, and tragically, he was one of the eight Manchester United players who were killed in the Munich air disaster on the 6th of February 1958. He was just 22 years old. Whelan began his career with Home Farm before joining Manchester United as an 18-year-old in 1953.
While at United he made 98 first-team appearances in four seasons, scoring 52 goals. He was United's top scorer in the 1956–57 season, scoring 26 goals in the First Division and 33 in all competitions as United won their second successive league title and reached the semi-finals of the European Cup and FA Cup.
He travelled with the United team to Belgrade for the fateful European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade, the day before the Munich air disaster, but did not play in the game.
He was capped four times for the Republic of Ireland but did not score while his brother John played for Shamrock Rovers and Drumcondra F.C.
On the 8th of December 2006, the railway bridge on Fassaugh Road/ Dowth Avenue junction in Cabra, Dublin 7, close to Dalymount Park was renamed in his honour.