Remembering the Munich Air Disaster

07 February, 2018, 01:51 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Rita Christy and John Whelan at the grave of their brother Liam who died in the Munich Air Disaster

Around 3,000 fans visited Trudering, a small suburb of Munich where the Munich-Riem airport once stood where 23 passengers, including eight of the Busby Babes and three club staff, lost their lives in the 1958 Munich air disaster.

Hundreds of fans congregated under the Munich plaque to pay their respects outside the ground, where there were readings, prayers and a rendition of the Flowers of Manchester.

Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sir Bobby Charlton are among the men pictured attending the memorial service today.

A minute's silence will be held at 3.04pm, marking the time of the crash in 1958.

It is hoped as many as eight of the players who lined up through the schoolboy ranks with him will be there.

In a letter recently penned to Manchester United's current crop of players ahead of a tribute to those who died in the Munich air disaster, Sir Bobby Charlton wrote: "Words can not describe the devastating effect that this had on the football club and the lives of those affected".

Some surviving doctors and nurses involved in the treatment of manager Sir Matt Busby and his team were also in attendance.

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Gregg has never liked talking much about the Munich air disaster and has always played down his role in the immediate aftermath of the crash when he pulled survivors from the wreckage of British European Airways Flight 609, the haunting if misplaced guilt perhaps of a reluctant hero.

Charlton and Harry Gregg, the two remaining survivors of the 1958 team who had been on the doomed flight, were also in attendance, as was Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino, Manchester City great Mike Summerbee and Liverpool hero Kenny Dalglish.

"What we are seeing is a team of footballers without frills, normal people who came out of the community, got on their bikes and rode down to Old Trafford to play football", Hunt explains. "When the news broke, it was really sad because I'd followed United at that time because of Matt Busby".

The Red Devils were returning from a European Cup tie at Red Star Belgrade when tragedy struck and the fabled Busby Babes were devastated.

The mayor of Munich and senior figures from the city's Bundesliga side Bayern will also be present, while another event is also being held in Serbia.

It will be 60 years to the day since the tragedy that took the lives of United players Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Billy Whelan. "The crew, journalists and, of course, the talented footballers who died that day will never be forgotten".

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