The Flowers of Manchester

The 6th of February 2020 marks the 62nd anniversary of the Munich air disaster where 23 passengers tragically lost their lives back in 1958.

The Manchester United squad were travelling back from Serbia after their 3-3 draw with Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup and were looking forward to the semi-finals after a 5-4 aggregate victory. On their way back home, the squad boarded a flight from Belgrade, with the flight also accommodating journalists, supporters and various other passengers, with their destination being Munich for refuelling.

After the aircraft was refuelled it began its departure but faced difficulty after failing two take-off attempts. The pilot attempted a third take-off, an action which would prove to cause disastrous consequences as the aircraft failed to reach the required height for take-off, causing it to crash into a nearby fence and then an unoccupied house near the runway, with the crash instantly killing seven Manchester United players.

Despite not initially passing away in the crash, Duncan Edwards died two weeks later on the 21st of February as a result of the injuries he suffered in the crash. Manager Matt Busby also suffered serious injuries from the incident and was kept in hospital for more than two months after the disaster after suffering injuries involving his: chest, legs and feet.

Another passenger who lost their life in the crash was former Manchester City goalkeeper Frank Swift who was an old teammate of Matt Busby , who went into journalism after hanging up his gloves and was with the squad as he was covering their game against Red Star Belgrade.

Despite the country being in mourning, the English Football League took the decision not to postpone the fixtures for the following Saturday, with the only exception being Manchester United’s fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

It didn’t take United too long to rebuild and return to glory as they picked up two league titles during the 64/65 and the 67/68 season, as well as bringing the FA Cup to Old Trafford in 1963. Appropriately, ten years after the disaster occurred, Manchester United made history and became the first English club to win the European Cup after beating Benfica 4-1 at Wembley.

We would like to pay tribute to the 23 people who lost their lives as a result of the disaster.

Crewe Members

Kenneth Rayment - Co-pilot

Tom Cable - Steward

Manchester United Players and Staff

Geoff Bent - Manchester United Player

Roger Byrne - Manchester United Player

Eddie Colman - Manchester United Player

Duncan Edwards - Manchester United Player

Mark Jones - Manchester United Player

David Pegg - Manchester United Player

Tommy Taylor - Manchester United Player

Liam Whelan - Manchester United Player

Walter Crickmer - Manchester United Club Secretary

Tom Curry - Manchester United Trainer

Bert Whalley - Manchester United Chief Coach

Journalists

Alf Clarke - Manchester Evening Chronicle

Donny Davies - Manchester Guardian

George Follows - Daily Herald

Tom Jackson - Manchester Evening News

Archie Ledbrooke - Daily Mirror

Henry Rose - Daily Express

Frank Swift - News of the World

Eric Thompson - Daily Mail

Other Passengers

Bela Miklos - Travel Agent

Willie Satinoff - Supporter and friend of Matt Busby

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