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United Remember

United’s official website have got a few interesting pieces up today in remembrance of those who lost their lives 51 years ago today.

Sir Alex Ferguson speaks of his great admiration for Sir Matt Busby, taking pride in the foundation of our club originating from Busby’s work. Fergie also talks of Busby’s bravery to come back to manage that side following the Munich Air Disaster, as well as the great skill involved in rebuilding the team.

Sir Bobby Charlton gives his first-hand account of the disaster, starting with the match they had flown out to play in and finishing with the glory of 1968.

The eight United players who died have been remembered, with their career stats as well as personal memories.


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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19 Comments

  1. olusanjo says:

    they will forever be in our memories.

  2. Usman says:

    Can someone tell me how the families of the players were compensated?

  3. King Eric says:

    The great Duncan Edwards “Manchester United is the greatest team in the world. I’d give anything to play for you.” Just a shame so many of todays players don’t share this attitude. Legends. R.I.P.

  4. tony singh says:

    The Flowers of Manchester

    One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
    Eight great football stalwarts conceded victory,
    Eight men will never play again who met destruction there,
    The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester

    Matt Busby’s boys were flying, returning from Belgrade,
    This great United family, all masters of their trade,
    The pilot of the aircraft, the skipper Captain Thain,
    Three times they tried to take off and twice turned back again.

    The third time down the runaway disaster followed close,
    There was slush upon that runaway and the aircraft never rose,
    It ploughed into the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned.
    And eight of the team were killed as the blazing wreckage burned.

    Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor who were capped for England’s side.
    And Ireland’s Billy Whelan and England’s Geoff Bent died,
    Mark Jones and Eddie Colman, and David Pegg also,
    They all lost their lives as it ploughed on through the snow.

    Big Duncan he went too, with an injury to his brain,
    And Ireland’s brave Jack Blanchflower will never play again,
    The great Matt Busby lay there, the father of his team
    Three long months passed by before he saw his team again.

    The trainer, coach and secretary, and a member of the crew,
    Also eight sporting journalists who with United flew,
    and one of them Big Swifty, who we will ne’er forget,
    the finest English ‘keeper that ever graced the net.

    Oh, 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

  5. Red-Manc says:

    In the cold snow of Munich,
    They laid down their lives
    But they live on forever
    In our hearts and our minds,
    Their names are now legend
    For the whole world to see
    Why this club’s a religion
    Spelt M.U.F.C

    RIP Boys, Lest we forget

  6. doncobaino says:

    the flowers of Manchester
    MUFC

    Tommy Taylor – aged 26, forward, 189 apps., 128 goals, 19 England caps, 16 goals

    what a goal scoring record

  7. SULLY [South Africa] says:

    The Busby Babes gone but never forgotten. LEGENDS forever. RIP. Est – 1878 – We’ll Never Die – MUFC

  8. park says:

    The flowers of English football. The flowers of Manchester.
    You will be forever remebered in our minds and heart. R.I.P.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PVFIUqrUPQ&feature=related – Very moving video which I recommend to everyone.

  9. Tevratov says:

    Forever and ever, we’ll follow the boys,
    of Man Utd, The busby babes

    Rest in peace

    MUFC

  10. TheGriff says:

    My Grandfather ( A Liverpool fan – Bless Him)
    Said to me in his words ‘ it was beautiful to watch them lot play, and it was so tragic to lose such a great young team in those circumstances, they WERE brilliant in the day ‘
    At times like this its time to put aside the rivalry and mourn the tragic loss of not just a Fantastic Football Team, but to so many young fit lifes that were lost on that day.
    Gone for ever, but never forgotten RIP, The Busby Babes !!

  11. Giles Oakley says:

    My whole life changed 51 years ago today. I never saw the Busby Babes play except in my mind, but to me they will always represent the best that sport has to offer. They were a team of friends who enjoyed life to the full, played football in a highly skillful, courageous manner, full of attacking creativity with tremendous never-say-die energy and spirit. They captured the imagination of the whole nation and they will be remembered as long as Manchester United exists, a constant reminder of the values the club -at its best – enshrines. But beyond commemorating those who died in the Munich Air Crash , not just the players but everyone, I think we should pay tribute to those who flew the flag afterwards in the face of the greatest tragedy that could confront a team. There was Jimmy Murphy, of course, who brushed away his tears and carried on heroically as acting manager. Then there were the 1st team survivors, Billy Foulkes, who took over as team captain and never lost the haunted look in his eyes. There was Harry Gregg, hero at the crash, fearless as a keeper (I once sent him a photo to autograph. It duly arrived – one year later) who felt guilty for over half a century, simply because he survived while his friends did not. In term of re-building the team Bobby Charlton rises above them all. A care-free, Frank Sinatra fan who overnight became introverted and melancholic. He was a fabulous striker of the ball who started out as a goal-scoring inside-forward and then switched to left-winger (the best in the 1962 World Cup) and then moved to a deeper-lying centre-forward . In that role he worked tirelessly to screen the defence whilst simultaneously lunching those wonderful 50-yard cross-field passes. He is too often over-looked or undervalued as part of United. Treasure him while he’s here. I’ve met him and I can say he’s still shy, gentlemanly and dignified and still has the emotional scars of Munich all-too-close to the surface. Of course there were other survivors of the crash, Albert Scanlon (I was sad to see him leave for Newcastle), Kenny Morgans, who was never the same after the disaster, Ray Wood, sadly an embittered man over how he felt he shouuld have been treated. But I’d like to remember the kids who were thrown in at the deep end, such as the lovely Seamus (‘Shay’) Brennan, universally liked, a defender played out of position as a winger in the 1st post Munich game v Sheffield Wednesday, and scored two. I’ll always remember how he played the legendary Gento of Real Madrid out of the game in the European CUp semi in 68, marvellously ‘jockeying’ him out of harms way, without diving in. There were those like Alex Dawson who did well in the first 3 or 4 years, and others who never really progressed, but given the pressures that’s not surprising. They all played their part. United would never have risen Phoenix-like without all their efforts in the most extreme circumstances. They were the players I saw when I first started watching the team ,when results were often poor, and memories short. I’ll alwys be grateful to them because, despite not having the ability of later greats, these were the men who kept trying to play the United way. They always, always tried to keep attacking, often failing, but never giving up. We should remember them too, at this moment of remembering those who died. The crash happened at this moment, 51 years ago, at 3.04. RIP.

  12. suhayl says:

    RIP THE BABES…THE GREATEST TEAM THAT EVER WAS.

    FOREVER INDEBTED TO YOU. LEGENDS EACH ONE OF YOU.

    YOUR SPIRIT WILL LIVE ON THROUGH EACH AND EVERY UTD FAN FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

    AND THE RED FLAG WILL KEEP FLYING HIGH BECAUSE OF YOU

    RIP BABES 58

  13. suhayl says:

    GILES..IVE BEEN TEARFUL ALL DAY…BUT READING THAT JUST FILLS ME UP AGAIN.

    WE ARE INDEBTED TO THEM ALL

  14. Tom F says:

    Usman, nobody could ever be compensated for that. Not to a degree where compensation would make a difference anyway.

  15. SULLY [South Africa] says:

    February 6th will forever be circled on the calendars of everyone connected to Manchester United. The darkest day in Manchester United’s history. LEGENDS forever…

  16. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Well said Giles…

  17. rob the red says:

    6th February 1958 15 03hrs: As I stood and paid my respects, as many times before tears filled my eyes, but also as many times before, a tremendous sense of pride overwhelmed me. Pride in a thread that rose out of that terrible crash, a thread so weak as Sir Matt clung to life in a hospital bed, a thread that grew stronger, a thread that wove it’s way into the very fabric of our being. A thread that led us to 1968 and the bitter sweet victory at wembley. A thread that has grown into an unbreakable bridge that spans the globe bearing the name ‘Manchester United Football Club’. None aboard the plane that day will ever be forgotten becouse of this.

  18. King Eric says:

    Off topic here without being disrespectful. SAF and Vida have been voted manager and player of month.

  19. TonyBee says:

    Top Man Giles ….you said, very eloquently and movingly, what we all true Manchester United fans are feeling at this sad time. No doubt some bastards are gonna try and rip the piss outta our remembering of what was a sad time for all but when our truly great football club, with the players, staff and the fans forging a team spirit that will never be surpassed by any other.

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