February 06, 2008

Munich disaster for Manchester United - 50 years ago today. A day of remembrance: Eight Busby Babes, including Duncan Edwards, died in the air crash. Manager Matt Busby was pronounced dead twice before rising to lead the team into the next decade, winning the European Cup in 1968. Many English clubs came to the aid of United, providing players so United could continue their season.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to soccer at 12:28 PM - 3 comments

My father was a lifelong Red Devils fan, having grown up in Manchester in the 30s, 40s and 50s, and been a witness to the first two of Busby's great United teams. He thought Duncan Edwards was the greatest footballer he ever saw (and we saw Pele at his peak). In about 1970 my father was instrumental in arranging for Bobby Charlton to visit Australia to run some coaching clinics. My parents went out to dinner with Bobby and Norma. Some idiot at the restaurant asked Bobby if he had been in the Munich crash. He replied 'no' and turned away to talk to someone else. My father was appalled that anyone would raise it in the first place, but also knew that Charlton had been there, thrown clear, still strapped to his seat. We used to have a 45 of The Spinner's 'Flowers of Manchester', which he played from time to time. I think this was the only time I ever saw my father cry.

posted by owlhouse at 03:45 PM on February 06, 2008

I was 16 at the time, in my senior year at high school, and not much of a soccer fan. Still, the news had an impact on me for the sheer magnitude of the tragedy. The disaster may be why, to this day, Manchester United comes to mind immediately when the Premier League is mentioned. I'm not a follower of either the team or the league, but whenever I happen upon a Man-U match being broadcast, my instinct is to root for Manchester United.

posted by Howard_T at 04:05 PM on February 06, 2008

There was a dramatised version of the story on UK TV last year that was really interesting. When you know the details of the flight... Well I don't like to use the word "cursed", but the flight, with all that happened prior to that fateful takeoff... I would NOT have been on that flight.

posted by Drood at 01:51 AM on February 07, 2008

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