February 6th is a date forever engraved in the memories and thoughts of not only those at Old Trafford, but Manchester United supporters around the world.
The date brings fans from across the globe together in mourning, after the tragic events of 1958. In the darkest day of the club’s history, eight players were among 23 people to suffer fatal injuries in the Munich air disaster.
With three staff members also facing the wrath of the crash, United fans will always remember the unfolding of the events or the aftermath the tragedy left. Even now, supporters who are too young to remember the breaking news of the event are ever-affected by the emotional response and dedication of the football club and its fight to regain success while never forgetting those who were lost.
Following a European Cup tie – a rare occasion for an English club – the team plane had to stop in Germany in order to refuel, after a brace from Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet's strike earned a 3-3 draw with Red Star Belgrade of Serbia. As the first two attempts to take off from Munich airport were aborted, the third and final attempt ended in adversity as the plane crashed.
Despite his tender age, he had already appeared for the Red Devils over 150 times, scoring 20 goals in the process.
Twenty-one people were instantly killed on board. Pilot Kenneth Rayment was unable to overcome is injuries and died a few weeks later, while the story of Duncan Edwards is considered the most heart-breaking by many.
Just 21-years-old, Edwards was tipped to be one of football’s hottest talents. Despite his tender age, he had already appeared for the Red Devils over 150 times, scoring 20 goals in the process. 18 senior international caps also set the left-half up for a tantalising career. However, that career was cut drastically short, passing away 15 days after the crash.
Regardless of his critical condition, the ‘Busby Babes’ fought back under his management, remarkably winning the European Cup just 10 years later.
The unfolding of events has become an unforgettable part of the club’s history, and will remain with supporters forever. Nonetheless, the disaster led to a sense of commendation for manager Sir Matt Busby. Regardless of his critical condition, the ‘Busby Babes’ fought back under his management to build another astonishing side in honour, remarkably winning the European Cup just 10 years later.
Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Mark Jones (24), David Pegg (22), Tommy Taylor (26), Geoff Bent (25), Liam Whelan (22) and Duncan Edwards (21) all failed to recover from the crash, and died along with club coach Bert Whalley, trainer Tom Curry and club secretary Walter Crickmer.
Supporters have united today, and will gather at Old Trafford in memory of those lost. There will be a special gathering at the Munich Memorial.
Furthermore, eight journalists also died in the fatal crash. Alf Clarke, Tom Jackson, Don Davies, George Fellows, Archie Ledbrook, Eric Thompson, Henry Rose, and Frank Swift - a former Manchester City player – all left behind family and friends. Pilot Ken Rayment, Willie Satinoff, a friend of Sir Matt Busby, Bela Miklos, a travel agent, and Tom Cable, a crew member, also died.
Supporters have united today, and will gather at Old Trafford in memory of those lost. There will be a special gathering at the Munich Memorial at 3.00pm. All fans are invited to attend.
A broken plane, a broken dream, a broken heart, a broken team, no word said, a silent vow, we loved you then, we love you now.
We will never forget.