February 6th marks the 50th Anniversary of the Munich Air disaster, where eight Manchester United players lost their lives on their return from a European Cup quarter final. Sick fans of rival clubs sing about the disaster when visiting Old Trafford and make aeroplane wings out of their arms.
United will commemorating the tragedy on derby day, with the February 10th game falling closest to the anniversary date. The City fans who are attending have been written a let from Sven reminding them that one of their former players, Frank Swift, was amongst the people who lost their lives that day, in a bid to stop the sick songs. To prevent the occasion from being spoilt, there have been suggestions of holding a one minute’s applause before kick off, instead of a more appropriate minutes silence, to drown out the possible vicious chants coming from the away end.
England are playing on February 6th and there had been talk of tribute to the Busby Babes being held. However, the FA have today announced that there will not be a minutes silence before the game, for fear England fans can’t be trusted to respect the occasion. It wasn’t long ago that a Wembley crowds watching an England team, which boasted the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and the like regularly sang “stand up if you hate Man U.” United fans are no strangers to singing anti-England songs either and last season hung a ‘United > England’ banner from the Stretford End. The fact the England national team and fans won’t be honouring our tragedy is not a real disappointment, however, it questions the state of English football fans if they cannot be trusted to behave appropriately on this day. Twenty three innocent people died in the Munich Air Disaster and I find it astonishing that there is even any doubt that people going to watch a football game can’t be relied upon not to mock those that lost their lives.
Instead of properly honouring those United players, pioneers for England in European football, Wembley will instead displays pictures of the Babes and the players will wear black armbands.
“You can stick your fuckin England up your arse!”