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You Expect City To Respect Munich? Get Real!

Munich Air Disaster“Munich bastards!” a City fan shouted at my dad and me as we approached the council house for our game towards the close of last season. We’d just driven in to town, found a carpark close to the ground, and set off on the walk. Seemed like a fairly good idea at the time. It wasn’t even midday yet, so we didn’t anticipate any trouble, so kept our heads down and got in to the ground.

I’d been to the council house only once before for derby day, and had only managed to land tickets with the home fans. This time I was sat with our fans and was hoping for a win, knowing that we could reclaim our title if Arsenal prevented Chelsea from winning the following day. I had a drink with my dad surrounded by United fans as we sang “Build a bonfire” and the like. There’s a large wall which rises up from the ground but doesn’t quite meet the ceiling, and the City fans were on the other side. It wasn’t long before they started singing their Munich songs at us, which we could hear loud and clear due to the gap at the top of the wall. Our crowd were surprisingly calm though, not retaliating, but instead outsinging them with our usual chants. I recalled only the season before when they’d started singing about Munich in the minute’s silence that had been held before kick off. The ref had to blow his whistle early, which lead to the United fans jumping to their feet and shouting “Fuck off City” repeatedly for the next few minutes.

The game was pretty dull, if I’m honest. It started with the pathetic scarf twirling from the City fans, who’d all found a free blue and white scarf under their seat, an attempt to increase their docile atmosphere. “What the fuckin, what the fuckin, what the fuckin ell was that??” the United fans mocked when they finished.

The only goal of the game came from a Ronaldo penalty, after Michael Ball tripped him in the area. It was just desserts for the thug who’d earlier stamped on Ronaldo’s chest when he was on the deck. The City fans held their arms out, rocking from side to side, putting on their best aeroplane impressions. A few rounds of “Who’s that lying on the runway, who’s that dying in the snow” picked up around the ground (the words of which are – who’s that lying on the runway, who’s that dying in the snow? It’s Matt Busby and his boys making all the fucking noise cos they couldn’t get their aeroplane to go). Their smug, demented faces were soon left rather solemn, however, when Van der Sar saved in a penalty in the final minutes of the game.

Truth be told, Liverpool and Leeds are the only teams who get the same kick out of mocking those who died in the Munich Air Disaster as City. The fact that Frank Swift, their former legend, also died that day seems to pass them by. Swift played for City for sixteen years, the only club of his entire career. He won the league title and FA Cup with them in the 1930s before becoming a journalist. He had been with the United team reporting for the News of the World and was one of the twenty three passengers who died that night in Munich.

Manchester City are obviously all too aware what scum bags they have in their ranks, and have been pussy footing around their supporters who have tickets for derby day on February 10th. This is the game closest to the 50th anniversary, which is February 6th, and where our memorial service will be taking place. Enclosed in the envelope with the tickets for the game, City fans will receive a letter from Sven, which reads, “Many supporters will already be aware that Manchester City lost one of our own in the tragedy, goalkeeper Frank Swift. Twenty-two players, staff and journalists also lost their lives. We ask that all supporters uphold the good name of Manchester City and respectfully support the commemorations which will also be attended by friends and family of the victims including Frank Swift’s family.” Credit to them for making the effort but it is pathetic that such a reminder has to be given. Should human beings really need to be sent a persuasive letter to stop themselves from mocking the deaths of innocent people?

I am not for one second saying all City fans are such vermin, and for the most part, I imagine the travelling fans will be dreading the actions of the minority come derby day. There has been talk of employing a minute’s applause ahead of kick off, instead of a minute’s silence, for fear that some bitters will ruin the occasion. I for one think that is bollocks. People died and Manchester United was left in tatters. We should have a time for quiet reflection on such a tragedy, not deafening applause to drown out the sick things the scum bags might shout. A minutes silence should be held and if any bitters want to show up their fans and their club, then so be it.

Part of me believes that maybe the fans that show up will be respectful and want to share in remembering the day that Manchester mourned so many bright young talents. It is the younger fans, the ones that have never seen their club lift a trophy, who are more likely to cause the trouble, and I just hope there are enough older fans in their section to give a clip around the ear to those that deserve it.

Can we see a united Manchester on February 10th? I’d love to believe that we could, but my better judgement, coming from years of dealing with the bitters, tells me that we will be left disappointed.

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. jsos says:

    well said, scott.

  2. vinnie manchester says:

    I hope the City fans sing munich all the way through the minutes silence, then all the country can see them for what they are.

    I wonder if they will give the leaflets out next season and I wonder what attempts they have made for the last twenty years to stop them.

    Maybe it is alright to sing about people dying when it is 49 years ago or 51.

    Let the cunts sing,it helps you to remember to keep hating them.

  3. Tom F says:

    A great deal of effort has been made to make the anniversary a special and memorable occasion. I hope it helps a lot of younger Manchester United followers soak up our history a little more and try to go out of their way to learn more. The player Bobby Charlton described as the best he’d ever seen, Duncan Edwards does deserve to be recognised amongst fans now as what would have been a very bright star in Manchester Uniteds history.

    The minority of Manchester City fans, to sing at any time about Munich is a disgrace. I’m looking forward to the Retro kits and what I’d like to see as a GOOD UNITED WIN!

  4. Tom F says:

    “The only player who made me feel inferior was Duncan Edwards. If I had to play for my life and could take one man with me, it would be him.” Bobby Charlton

    All of those who died, whether talented football players, journalists and even if they played for a rival team they were still men, they still had incredible futures ahead of them and I have to pay respect to the likes of Sir Matt Busby who carried on at Manchester United after all that had happened in 1958, then to see him and his Babes lift the European Cup is something to make anybody aim for the top, the man is an inspiration.

  5. jimmy Bob says:

    I hope Fergie and the team know what they are playing for when we face city .

    A fitting tribute would be a big win on the back of thrilling football and that’s just what I expect and city vermin who disrespect silence will only fire up the team more.

  6. KingOfZamunda says:

    Well said jimmy Bob- the manky blues have crap all on us and a comprehensive beating of them cbuts would be more than fitting!
    Great piece Scott, you just keep on farming it out mate and we’ll keep on reading:)

  7. Salford Red. says:

    Have to agree with Scott. We all remember what happened a couple of seasons a go when we tried to pay our respects to Noel Cantwell, and the delight the bitters took in singing about Bestie’s passing. A mate of mine works in admin at the boo camp and he reckons that the powers that be at City are convinced that United are determined to go ahead with the minute silence as opposed to a minute’s applause, as a deliberate policy to make City look bad; as the profile of the club is rising. Such thinking betrays the seismic impact Munich had on our city. And is akin to saying “Look we know Munich was the defining episode in your clubs history and one of own passed, and there can be few things worse than a group of young working class lads perishing in the manner that they did. But by choosing to celebrate, reflect and honour their memory, your trying to make us look bad. We don’t trust our support to exhibit human emotions such as sadness, empathy, respect.” That is their problem not ours. If their that bothered they should ban all their travelling support. Spoke to a number of match going city fans in my local, and although they stated that they will respect our commerations they were not confident other fans would. Whats more i detected a general ambivalence by them to sections of support who could dispute the minutes commeration. Akin to claiming to be “disgusted” by such actions, but secretly sniggering under their club issued scarfs. Never underestimate the depth of pure hatred the bitters have for us.

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