Fifty years ago today, eight Manchester United players lost their lives in the Munich Air Disaster. The young lads were returning from their successful quarter final in the European Cup, stopping in Munich to refuel.
The plane attempted take off three times before crashing, taking the lives of 23 people. United were in a rush to return to England, due to stupid FA rules which stated they had to be in the country that evening, otherwise would be forced to forfeit their next league game. Sir Matt Busby’s team were chasing the Treble and couldn’t afford to slip up now, a few months before the end of the season.
When Sir Matt won the European Cup ten years later, it served as some sort of redemption. Not that the lives of those eight men were worth losing in exchange for winning a European Cup, but it gave purpose to Busby’s mission. He had been a pioneer for English football in Europe and to create a team worthy of winning the competition, the first team from England to do so, gave purpose to the lost lives of those men. Sir Matt proved that there had been a reason for his single sighted dedication to the competition.
Manchester United won the European Cup again, years later, this time under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson. United scored both their goals in 90+ minutes, on what would have been Sir Matt Busby’s 90th birthday. It was a magical evening, which summed up a magical season, where United finally won the Treble the Busby Babes had been prevented from winning.
With this being the 50th anniversary of the Babes losing their lives, it would be a fitting tribute if United won the European Cup again. Sir Bobby Charlton spoke with the United team last week, to educate them further on the tragedy. Wayne Rooney has said this talk with Charlton has given the team extra inspiration to win the Champions League. “We spoke to Sir Bobby and he put a bit of pressure on us to win the European Cup,” said Rooney. “It would be a great achievement for us, not just for ourselves, but for the Busby Babes. Sir Bobby said how fitting it would be to win it this year of all years.”
Do you think this is the year for United to win their third European Cup, in honour of the Busby Babes?