By Tony Winterburn • 06 February 2021 • 10:09
Football World Remembers The Busby Babes. image: Pinterest
Football World Remembers The Busby Babes.
Manchester United have been remembering their Flowers of Manchester, the eight players who died in Munich on 6 February 1958 on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final in Belgrade.
On 6 February, the club experienced the darkest day in its history. After a stop-over at Munich on the way back from a European Cup tie in Belgrade, the plane crashed, killing 23 passengers. Among the dead were eight United players, four of them full England internationals.
As the 50th anniversary of the Munich air crash approaches, the legend of that team continues to grow. BBC Sport summariser Jimmy Armfield played alongside and against some of the players who died at Munich, and says their mythical status is well deserved.
“For my generation of footballers, who knew them all really well, the crash was our Kennedy assassination moment,” he said: “It captured the nation.”
The eight United players who died in the crash were Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan. Byrne, Taylor, Edwards and Pegg had all been capped by England, and Whelan was a Republic of Ireland international.
The accident has continued to resonate with people worldwide over the past six decades – and a group of long-standing United supporters has resolved that the memory and legacy of the ‘Busby Babes’ must never be forgotten, in particular by future generations.
The Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF) is dedicated to ensuring that this legacy remains relevant and intact. The foundation, launched in 2018, is now an officially recognised British charitable organisation. Its mission is to “endeavour, through raising charitable donations and through supporting charitable works in Manchester, Munich and Belgrade, to keep the memory of the ‘Busby Babes’ preserved and enhanced”.
The Munich air disaster claimed the lives of 15 others:
Captain Kenneth Rayment, co-pilot
Tom Cable, cabin steward
Walter Crickmer, Manchester United club secretary
Tom Curry, Manchester United trainer
Bert Whalley, Manchester United chief coach
Frank Swift, News of the World and former Manchester City goalkeeper
Alf Clarke, Manchester Evening Chronicle
Donny Davies, Manchester Guardian
George Follows, The Daily Herald
Tom Jackson, Manchester Evening News
Archie Ledbrooke, The Daily Mirror
Henry Rose, The Daily Express
Eric Thompson, The Daily Mail
Bela Miklos, travel agent
Willie Satinoff, Manchester United supporter and close friend of Matt Busby
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