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Flowers of Manchester

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster in which 23 people lost their lives, including 8 United players.

Lest we forget.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. scholes18 says:

    sad day for the club.

    England’s finest football team its record truly great,
    Its proud successes mocked by a cruel turn of fate.
    Eight men will never play again, who met destruction there,
    The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester

    hope club never say die spirit prevails through every disaster/ failure/setback

  2. RedHanams says:

    They’ll always be in o’ hearts…Flowers of Manchester

  3. m09538061 says:

    They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
    We will remember them

  4. slim says:

    We will never forget. Christ, 56 years!!

    Rio stirring stuff up on twitter. Who’s getting the sack next he asks? Naughty boy if you as me, we all know who/what he’s referring to. At least this kind of backs up the argument that some of the players not playing for him. Rio’s hardly featured but he’s a big enough presence in the dressing room, plus this is the only instance we know of . I hope there’s solid plans being made in the background, there is enough time between now and the start of the season to sort out over due issues in the squad. Shame its a World cup year, agents will be rubbing their hands with glee. Upside is there is a lot to choose from and unless Madrid and Barcelona want a squad revamp, we should be okay. City can do no more than a couple of purchases or they risk inviting an imbalance to their squad. At the most a CM and CB for them. Think SAF needs to clock up the air miles. Retirement? What retirement.

  5. Dela says:

    A Broken Plane. A Broken Dream.
    A Broken Heart. A Broken Team.
    No Word Said. A Silent Vow.
    We Loved You Then. We Love You Now.

    some guy on Twitter posted that.

  6. slim says:


    long time no see, posting on ROM again or is it just the occasion ?

  7. gra mar says:

    @Dela – nice poem.

    I still get shivers when reading about Munich.

  8. UnitedFaithful says:

    My heart sinks every time I remember the babes.Lives not half lived,promises unfulfilled,dreams shattered.Although fate took them away from us but their spirit in still entrenched in the club.Their dedication and commitment to the club still inspires generation of others.Lest we forget.

  9. Prinz_Prinze says:

    Seems like yesterday, sad day but the spirit of Manchester United lives on,

  10. Dela says:

    @slim –> Hey man, noticed that Scott had written about Munich today on my feedly so I came to see what he wrote. Haven’t been actually on any football blogs or boards lately, too toxic, would end up wasting too much of my time for no good reason, :-)

    @gra mar –> Yep, says a lot that every year when this day comes around a lot of people are genuinely sad even 56 years on. Even young people feel the lingering grief when it comes around. Such a defining moment in the history of the club.

  11. UnitedFaithful says:

    I know those lads better than anyone. I found them. I nurtured them. I was there with them every morning, noon and night, pissing rain, gales and snow. They let me mould their lives from the ground up. They repaid me, they repaid this club with their skill, their passion and now their lives. It’s not about honouring their memory. It’s about showing who we are to the world. Showing we’ll not be bowed by tragedy. Because how we are in the future will be founded on how we behave today.” – Jimmy Murphy

  12. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    RIP to the 23 Legends that lost their lives as a result of the air crash. You will NEVER be forgotten at this club and your legacy will forever live on at this club. I had the opportunity to see the Munich museum when I was in Manchester last summer and it really hit home that this event is more than just an event to Mancunians. Hopefully your never say die spirit can help lift us out of the position we are currently in on the pitch.

  13. sir matt martin says:

    if not for the plane crash does 8 players would have won a lot of CL finals, which liverpool and Real did during Busby Babes Era, United would have been level with Real madrid 9 if not better.

  14. sir matt martin says:

    @ dannysoya
    Not with moyes and those 2 Steve Round and Phil Nev. Not good enough.

  15. Fletch™ says:

    The average age of the team that drew at Red Star was only 23.
    The dead or dying included 2 players only 21years old.
    Dunc Edwards 21, had already played 170+ first team games and was an established England international.
    Roger Byrne, 28, Was the team captain and an established England international.
    There were 2 Ireland internationals as well. Huge loss for the city. My grandfather would tell me stories, but couldn’t do it without getting choked up about it.

    Here is the list of the 23 casualties in the aftermath of the crash.
    1 Geoff Bent – Manchester United Footballer
    2 Roger Byrne – Manchester United Footballer
    3 Tom Cable – cabin steward
    4 Alf Clarke – Journalist – Manchester Evening Chronicle
    5 Eddie Colman – Manchester United Footballer
    6 Walter Crickmer – Manchester United Club Secretary
    7 Tom Curry – Manchester United Trainer
    8 Donny Davies – Journalist – Manchester Guardian
    9 Duncan Edwards – Manchester United Footballer
    10 George Follows – Journalist – Daily Herald
    11 Tom Jackson – Journalist – Manchester Evening News
    12 Mark Jones – Manchester United Footballer
    13 Archie Ledbrooke – Journalist – Daily Mirror
    14 Bela Miklos – Travel Agent
    15 David Pegg – Manchester United Footballer
    16 Kenneth Rayment – Co-Pilot
    17 Henry Rose – Journalist – Daily Express
    18 Willie Satinoff – Racecourse Owner and friend of Busby
    19 Frank Swift – Journalist – News of the World
    20 Tommy Taylor – Manchester United Footballer
    21 Eric Thompson – Journalist – Daily Mail
    22 Bert Whalley – Manchester United Chief Coach
    23 Liam Whelan – Manchester United Footballer

  16. RedOne says:

    R.I.P to the lads.

    Hope this never happens again to anyone…

  17. edcunited1878 says:

    United’s flag is deepest red
    It shrouded all our Munich dead
    Before their limbs grew stiff and cold
    Their heart’s blood dyed it’s ev’ry fold
    Then raise United’s banner high
    Beneath it’s shade we’ll live and die
    So keep the faith and never fear

    We’ll keep the Red Flag flying here
    We’ll never die, we’ll never die
    We’ll never die, we’ll never die
    We’ll keep the Red flag flying high
    ‘Cos Man United will never die

  18. Fletch™ says:

    Harry Redknapp remembers Arsenal v ManUtd. Busby Babes last domestic match before Munich

    Good interview

  19. sir matt martin says:

    Alfredo Di Stéfano: That team would have gon on to win lot of trophies.

  20. Mark Reid says:

    Terrible tragedy.Rip lads.You would have being proud of all the club achieved since we lost ye.Glory Glory Man United.

  21. Fletch™ says:

    Beware Revisionist History!

    In the aftermath of the tragedy, several clubs offered United players to fill out their season.
    A very famous story is that Real Madrid offered United several players including DiSteffano, but United turned them down because we couldn’t afford the wages.

    So there is this story reportedly posted on Facebook that no other than the great Bill Shankly offered United 5 footballers from Liverpools 1st team.

    Sounds good if you like tall tales and I am not one to cast aspersions….BUT
    - LFC were in the second division in ’58 and had been there for a couple years.
    - Not to let that stop a good story, but Bill Shankly wasn’t to be appointed Liverpool manager until December of 59, still a good 2 years before he took them back to the 1st division in ’62.

    Team sheet from the Sheffield United match has players from Blackpool and Aston Villa

    Any of you historical types able to lend any credence to the story?

    Fact or Revisionist history?

  22. Redfrog says:

    Thanks Fletch for that list.

    R.I.P to everyone in that plane.

    It is amazing how Sir Busby have rebuild the team after this tragedy and how they went to win the champions league few years later. Best, Law, Charlton…surely that was one of the best team of history. This three won the ballon d’or (Law 64, Charlton 66, Best 68).
    Would have love to see Busby’s babes play free flowing football.

  23. Tommy says:

    I was at the memorial today, so moving and tears were shed, I then had a couple of beers to raise a glass to those great players.

    So many years, since you were taken,
    the pride of football, our Busby Babes.
    We’ve shed our tears, and watched the newsreels,
    whilst you have slumbered, in your graves.
    Though life’s moved on, the Reds continue,
    we’ve plumbed the depths, we’ve touched the sky.
    Our mem’ries of, the flowers of Manchester,
    like Man United, will never die.
    Roger Byrne, our worthy captain,
    Geoff and Eddie, Salford brave,
    David Pegg, and Tommy Taylor,
    Mark and Liam, such pleasure gave.
    For all you men, you football stalwarts,
    death was instant, life was gone.
    For fifteen days, of pain and struggle,
    mighty Duncan, lingered on.
    We don’t forget, the other victims,
    United players who survived.
    Some played on, achieving glory,
    some too injured to make the side.
    Our thoughts now turn to all non-players,
    this tragedy, was theirs as well.
    The wretched grief, for friends and families,
    so far removed from where they fell.
    You are the strength and inspiration,
    for those who play your roles today.
    We look for flair and pace and passion,
    to play the game United’s way.
    Though life’s moved on, the Reds continue,
    we’ve plumbed the depths, we’ve touched the sky.
    Our mem’ries of, the flowers of Manchester,
    like Man United, will never die.
    Will never die, will never die,
    like Man United, will never die.
    Will never die, will never die,
    like Man United, will never die.


    Slight correction mate, I thin the avarage age was even younger, 22 and your point on the Blackpool players we got at that time, Ernie Taylor mate, some say he was as good as Stanley Mathews on his day, My grandads told me that, Football fans were not as pathetic back then as they are now, The sick chants that happen these days didnt happen then and everyone showed gried, Red Star Belgrade and Real Madrid wanted United to be crowned European champions back then but we declined the offer.

    I must say its a bit embarressing on RoM tho, almost 1000 comments saying moyes out and less than 25 comments on our darkest day, Pitiful really!

  24. Rukky E. Atebefia says:

    Still loved and appreciated… R.i.p

  25. sir matt martin says:

    The men we lost at Munich
    The Munich air disaster on 6
    February 1958 claimed the lives of
    23 passengers and crew. Here, remembers the eight
    Manchester United players and
    three officials who died, through
    the words of those who knew them
    Roger Byrne – aged 28, full-back.
    277 appearances, 19 goals.
    “An aristocratic footballer, majestic in
    his movement. Roger was so fast but
    at the same time he controlled his
    movement beautifully, like Nureyev.” -
    Sir Matt Busby
    Geoff Bent – aged 25, full-back. 12
    “When Geoff matured and reached
    his twenties there were many clubs
    after him but he stayed loyal. He could
    look after himself and was a great
    tackler. Roger Byrne was a consistent
    player and very brave, that was the
    reason Geoff got so few games, but
    he was good enough to hold a
    regular place in any team.” – Jimmy
    Eddie Colman – aged 21, half-back.
    107 appearances, 2 goals.
    “Eddie was a chirpy lad and a terrific
    player. He pushed the ball – never
    kicked it – and he jinked past players.
    He was known for his swivel hips.” -
    Wilf McGuinness
    David Pegg – aged 22, forward. 148
    appearances, 28 goals.
    “David would have been a great asset
    to any team because he was a natural
    left-flank player. David was very, very
    clever. Our best left-winger by a mile.”
    - Sir Matt Busby
    Mark Jones – aged 24, half-back. 120
    appearances, 1 goal.
    “Yorkshireman Mark was a really
    lovely fellow, but my word he was a
    tough nut, and nobody took any
    liberties with him on or off the field.” – Bill Foulkes

    Duncan Edwards – aged 21, half-
    back. 175 appearances, 21 goals.
    “When I used to hear Muhammad Ali
    proclaim to the world he was the
    greatest, I used to smile. The greatest
    of them all was a footballer named
    Duncan Edwards.” – Jimmy Murphy.
    “The only player who ever made me
    feel inferior.” – Sir Bobby Charlton
    Tommy Taylor – aged 26, forward.
    189 appearances, 128 goals.
    “I rate him as one of the all-time, best
    centre-forwards in the game, and he
    had yet to realise all his potential. He
    was a typically bluff Yorkshireman in
    many ways, often acting the clown,
    and a great team man.” – Bill Foulkes
    Liam ‘Billy’ Whelan – aged 22,
    forward. 96 appearances, 52 goals.
    “Billy was a magician with a ball at his
    feet. I really don’t think he knew how
    good he was and how much better he
    could have become. A world-class
    forward. There is no doubt about that.
    His vision and passing was sheer
    class.” – Albert Scanlon
    Walter Crickmer, club secretary /
    Tom Curry, trainer / Bert Whalley,
    “Walter Crickmer always reminded me
    of a little dynamo, nothing was too
    much trouble. Tom Curry was
    someone we looked up to like a
    father. And Bert Whalley was certainly
    a tremendous help to me when I was
    a part-timer.” – Bill Foulkes

  26. Fletch™ says:

    I’m off. Red dreams all.

    Breaking news:
    Vidic off this summer.

    Vidic: “I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season” :(

  27. Tommy says:


    Is that actually offical, be a shame if he is, @Matt cheers for sharing that

  28. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    So Vida’s not signing on at the end of the season? Big shame. Wish him all the best. He still has something left in the tank. Shame we could not get him resign. Rio to follow suit hopefully. So looks like we’ll be in the market for a proper centre back.

  29. edcunited1878 says:

    Let’s try not to make this post thread about Vida, that post will come soon enough.

  30. Andrew.MUNZ says:

    oh no Vidic. sorry edcunited but this is depressing news.

  31. Gazzer says:

    Redfrog – for some reason I had never thought about the significance of 3 players from the same team winning European footballer of the year. Most teams would be happy to have one player do it.
    I’m trying to think whether any other team has done something similar.

    Well I went back and looked it up.
    The great Real Madrid team had two players – Di Stefano and Kopa.
    Bayern Munich had Muller and Beckenbauer.
    The Milan team of the late 80′s had Gullit and Van Basten.

    Those are some pretty special teams.

  32. Orez says:

    Sad day for all reds. I am sure all of them are in abetter place. They ill always be remembered by all of us.

  33. Tommy says:

    The 58 side was unquestionably THE best side this country if not the world has ever produced, Thats some statement but 100% true certaintly about being the best this countries seen, That team had everything and in Edwards as Wilf MaGuinness said, “If you took Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas and rolled them all into one then you get Duncan Edwards, He was that good” The only man who Sir Bobby Charlton felt inferior to on a football pitch and he plyed with/against Pele, Best, Law, Puskus, Di Stefano, Eusabio, Moore, Beckenbaurer and many other great players but Edwards was the best, no doubt about that. Heartbreaking reading about Roger Byrne, his wife was pregnant and was going to tell him, she was expecting his baby when he arrived into Manchester, but of course he never made it back. Also how Harry Gregg has no been knighted s a disgrace quite frankly, the man is a hero saving people lives, which included a baby and mother. Sir Harry Gregg in my eyes, As brave asa lion on and off the pitch, Only 2 of the survivors left now Charlton and Gregg with Bill Foulkes and Albert Scanlon passing away recently. I always think what Bobby andHarry are going through a this time of year, RIP babes!

  34. wayne barker says:

    I’m here to pay my respect I just wish the troll had been banned and wasn’t allowed to even be on this thread let alone cut and paste things that has no meaning to him.While he’s allowed to operate Roms’s a disgrace it makes me ill he’s allowed on this thread

  35. scholes18 says:

    duncan edwards was an incredible player. remember reading how city of manchester wept openly when he died in hospital. every one was sure that he would fight and win even when adversary was as strong as death.

    to go and win european cup a decade or half later was equally inspiring. heard how disaster impacted sir charlton who was turn into an introvert from being happy go luck guy.

    most of us are too young to really imbibe loss of the tragedy but still the stories of how club fought back are deeply motivational,poignant, inspiring and fabulous.

    god bless this great club


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