Sir Alex Ferguson paid his tribute to the Busby Babes as Manchester United mark the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.
On the 6th February 1958 a plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed during takeoff from Munich-Riem airport on a return trip from Belgrade. Eight players, three club staff, eight journalists, two crew members and two passengers were killed.
Sir Alex Ferguson attended the Old Trafford service
Sir Alex attended a commemorative service on Tuesday at Old Trafford to pay his respects to the 23 people who lost their lives in the tragedy and read from Psalm 103: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone.”
"It was a really emotional time," said Ferguson
Ferguson spoke to the club’s website and gave a personal account of how the horrific event affected him.
“On the day of the Munich Air Disaster, I was in the library studying for my exams,” said the Scotsman.
“I used to train two or three nights a week with Queens Park, so after I’d finished my work I went along to the training ground, but when I arrived, people were crying. These were grown men. There was a lot of sorrow in the dressing room, so much so that they cancelled training that night.
“It was a really emotional time for anybody who was a football fan. I’m sure the whole public in Manchester felt that way, and Matt Busby carried great resonance for the people in Scotland, so it was keenly felt up there, too.”
After giving his heartfelt account of the events he went on to share his thoughts on the legacy of Sir Matt Busby and his great young team.
"Matt never spoke to me about Munich"
“Matt never spoke to me about Munich, but he spoke about Duncan Edwards, David Pegg, Eddie Colman and all the boys who passed away. The one who did speak a lot about it was Jimmy Murphy. Jimmy did a bit of scouting for me and he always spoke very openly about the Babes. He always had a tear in his eye by the end of the discussion because he was a very emotional guy.
"While I was Manchester United manager, the Babes were always a reference point for us, in terms of having belief and trust in what young players can do and building a loyalty base from there.
"The Babes made the history of Manchester United, without question"
"Not only that, the Babes made the history of Manchester United, without question. Okay, there had been the 1948 FA Cup and some success in the distant past, but actually the history which was made through that particular period of Matt playing those young players is really the history of Manchester United.
"The Babes are what gives this club such a fantastic romance, in terms of how they played the game and how they generated this thread of youth throughout the club. The spirit of the club is created by all these young players, and that began back then."