MCFC of course shat themselves, all too familiar with the chants of Munich heard every derby day. Instead of a minute’s silence, they requested a minute of applause. At least that way, if City fans were to resume their usual behaviour and sing about Munich, it would be drowned out by the clapping.
“We plead with United to change the proposed minute’s silence to applause,” said City supporters’ club secretary. “In this way, any idiot who does not share these views of respect will be drowned out rather than highlighted.”
The City supporters didn’t spoil the day and were very proud that they were able to stay quiet for a whole minute and not mock the dead. They even sang a song for Frank Swift, something I’ve never heard in all my years of attending derby days. Who is he? The City legend who was with them for 16 years, winning the League title and FA Cup. After retiring from the game he became the president of their Supporters’ Club, so dedicated was he to the club. He was also a journalist then and travelled with the United team to Belgrade to report on our European Cup quarter-final against Red Star. He was on the plane that crashed in Munich and he died on his way to hospital, becoming one of the 23 people who lost their life to the crash.
Swift’s family were at the Munich memorial game, which might have helped jog the City fans’ memory. After the match, City fans were actually praised by the media for respecting the minute’s silence. It’s a shame that the press hasn’t bothered to mention that on every occasion since then, the Munich songs and aeroplane impressions have re-appeared and the memory of Swift is long forgotten.
The City fans at my local are a decent sort and I’m not ignorant enough to believe they’re the only ones. I’d like to think they don’t go to Wastelands and sing about Munich and they certainly do the ‘those sort are a disgrace to City fans’ spiel when they’re around us, but who knows. Regardless, ‘Munichs’ is a well-used name for United fans. In fact, back in 2000, City’s official match day programme referred to us as ‘Munichs’. The article was written by lifelong bluenose David Chidlow and appeared in the programme for the Boxing Day game against Derby County.
“It was a mistake and we are sorry for any offence caused,” said City’s chairman David Bernstein. “Among other things, we will never forget that Frank Swift was killed in the disaster.”
The latest desecration of the memory of the Busby Babes (and of Frank Swift) is City’s chant for Carlos Tevez. He’s a blue and he hates Munichs, which was first sung upon his arrival to Wastelands, but was out in force at the weekend against Blackburn.
They’ll be on their best behaviour when the eyes of the world are watching because of the anniversary, they’ll pat themselves on the back and ask for praise when they don’t show themselves up when all the cameras are on them, but every other day of the week it’s business as usual.
Well anyway, apart from being totally out of order, their latest chant is factually flawed, considering Tevez loves United fans, something he has repeatedly claimed since signing on the dotted line for City.
“The fact that I am not staying at United is not because of the fans, it is because Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill did not do enough to keep me there. If it was down to the fans, I would still be there,” Tevez said on July 14th.
“I am sad to leave United,” said Tevez on July 16th.
“I respect United fans because they supported me from day one and I think they will understand my decision,” said Tevez on July 25th.
“My relationship with the United fans was always excellent. They were very supportive of me, and they will always be close to my heart. I hope I will get a good reception, because I am very fond of them and we had a good understanding,” Tevez said on July 25th.
So, quite clearly he doesn’t hate us, quite the opposite in fact, but well done for insulting the memory of one of your legends. I’m sure Swift’s family are well proud.
The RoM Manchester United 2022-23 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes exclusive interviews with Patrice Evra and Kleberson, articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.