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right-track 02-01-2008 02:07 AM

Munich Remembered

6th February 1958
United team line up prior to kick off V. Red Star Belgrade on the eve of the crash

A 50th Anniversary Tribute

Just after 3 o’clock on a chill afternoon in Munich 50 years ago on Wednesday, the plane carrying a victorious Manchester United team back from Belgrade crashed on a snow-covered runway while making a third attempt to take off after a refuelling stop. It claimed the lives of 23 people, including eight players.

Geoff Bent
Roger Byrne
Eddie Colman
Duncan Edwards
Mark Jones
David Pegg
Tommy Taylor
Liam Whelan
Walter Crickmer
Bert Whalley
Tom Curry
Alf Clarke
Don Davies
George Follows
Tom Jackson
Archie Ledbrooke
Henry Rose
Eric Thompson
Frank Swift
Kenneth Rayment
Bela Miklos
Willie Satinoff
Tom Cable

right-track 02-01-2008 02:58 AM

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 runway disaster followed close,
There was slush upon that runway 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

right-track 02-01-2008 03:18 AM

Morrissey - Munich Air Disaster 1958

We love them
We mourn for them
Unlucky boys of Red

I wish I'd gone down
Gone down with them
To where Mother Nature makes their bed

We miss them
Every night we kiss them
Their faces fixed in our heads

I wish I'd gone down
Gone down with them
To where Mother Nature makes their bed

They can't hurt you
Their style will never desert you
Because they're all safely dead

I wish I'd gone down
Gone down with them

right-track 02-01-2008 05:41 AM

Geoff Bent
Died aged 25.
Had become a father just four months before his death on the birth of his daughter Karen.

Roger Byrne (capt.)
England international.
He was only 28 when he died in the Munich air disaster, and on arriving home he would have received the news that his wife Joy was expecting their first child.

Eddie Colman
Aged 21 years and 3 months, he was the youngest person to die in the Munich Air Disaster.
An accommodation building at the University of Salford is named after him—the Eddie Colman building is a block of flats located near the main campus.
It's situated near the Duncan Edwards memorial building.

Duncan Edwards
Despite a brave fight for life, Duncan Edwards died from his injuries 15 days after the crash.
Made his debut for England at the age of 18.
It has been claimed by those who saw Edwards play that if he had not died young, he would have gone on to become one of the all-time footballing greats.
Had he lived it would have been him and not Bobby Moore who would have led England to World Cup victory in 1966.
Sir Matt Busby described him as, "the best player in the world".
The finest player of his generation.

Mark Jones
Died age 24.
On the verge of Welsh international team had he lived.

David Pegg
England international.
He was tipped by many to succeed the ageing Tom Finney in the England team.
Still only 22 years old when he died.

Tommy Taylor
Died aged 26.
England international.
For United he managed two goals every three matches; put another way, he found the net once every two hours or so that he spent on a football pitch.
19 England caps and a 16 goal return!

Liam 'Billy' Whelan
Ireland international.
Whelan was a devout Roman Catholic who came from a large family; his father John had died in 1943, when Whelan was eight years old.
Just before the aeroplane crashed at Munich, he was heard to say: "If this is the end, then I'm ready for it".
He was 22 years old when he died.

Urban Hat€monger ? 02-01-2008 09:34 AM

I agree with United about wanting a minute's silence rather than applause.
Applause has it's place but in this case it's totally inappropriate.

Let's hope the City fans remember they lost one of their own in the crash too.

right-track 02-01-2008 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by Urban Hatemonger (Post 438300)

Let's hope the City fans remember they lost one of their own in the crash too.

A fact some of them conveniently forget at times.
Most City fans I've spoken to are hoping the minutes silence is respected by their own fans.
I think the timing of the Manchester 'derby' is a bad mistake on the Premier League's part.
It's unfair to put decent minded City fans in such a position. If a minority of idiots ruin the day, I doubt United fans will ever forgive them.
On the other hand, it could open up a whole new perspective on future rivalry between the two clubs supporters, which would be a minor miracle.

jackhammer 02-01-2008 12:54 PM

I don't think that the silence will be observed, but I would like to think that it will be. Here's hoping.

jackhammer 02-08-2008 01:00 PM

Did you go to Old Trafford on Wednesday David? The newspaper reports were poignant and touching. I watched the segment on Football focus last week and you could still see the sadness etched in Sir Bobby Charlton's face. Very touching indeed.

right-track 02-08-2008 01:38 PM

No, I was working, but we all had a minutes silence at just gone 3pm and the local radio played 'Flowers Of Manchester'.
Looking in the eyes of a couple of grown men with lumps in their throats made for an awkward situation. Very sad.

The mood in the city leading up to Sunday is pretty tense, with all the talk about whether or not the City fans will respect the silence before kick off.
I'm staying away from the pubs and watching it at a local Cricket Club...members only.

MURDER JUNKIE 02-09-2008 07:54 AM

I would hope that the silence is observed, the silence has nothing to do with club rivalry but the unity of sport as a whole

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