Manchester United honors 56th anniversary of Munich air disaster
The 56th anniversary of the tragic Munich air disaster was commemorated at Old Trafford on Sunday, with supporter displays and a moment of silence part of a series of events honoring the 23 that died in the Feb. 6, 1958 accident.
Eight of Manchester United’s famous “Busby Babes” team passed away in an accident that occurred upon takeoff at Munich-Riem Airport. Returning home from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, United’s plane had stopped to refuel before continuing to England. In snowy conditions, the plane slid off the runway during its third attempt to take off, hitting a house that sat beyond the airfield.
In addition to the 11 people associated with Manchester United, the accident claimed the lives of eight journalists, two crew members, as well as two others on board at the tome of the accident. The final fatality came 15 days after the accident when 21-year-old Duncan Edwards succumbed to his injuries in a Munich hospital.
Before today’s match against visiting Fulham, Manchester United fans unveiled a large tifo display featuring members of Matt Busby’s team, the 10 players and three staff members pictured about the phrase “We’ll Never Die.” Also part of one of the club’s most famous songs, the phrase served as a rallying point throughout the day’s remembrances, with a number of smaller banners throughout Old Trafford also displaying the slogan.
Shortly after coming out for the opening kickoff, both teams lined up on either side of the center circle to silently remember a tragedy Manchester United’s web site called “the darkest day in United history”. Though 56 years have passed, the event remains an indelible part of the club’s identity, with the club continuing to honor those who lost their lives in Munich.
(All photos courtesy of the Associated Press.)