Manchester United set to pay respect to Munich victims

Munich clock. Wikimedia, Aloba Øyvind Vik

Manchester United fans and staff will hold a ceremony tomorrow to mark the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

On February 6, 1958, a plane carrying the team back from a game against Red Star Belgrade crashed in Munich and 23 people lost their lives including eight players.

Pete Martin, a member of the Manchester United supporters trust, recalls how the city was affected following the tragedy.

He said: “There was an enormous wave of emotion that went out all around the area. There were crowds on the street with men and women all crying, the air of depression was so powerful.”

Tomorrow’s service will take place within Old Trafford and the first team will attend with manager Jose Mourinho and captain Michael Carrick laying a wreath inside the ground. Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be present along with Munich survivors Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg.

Munich plaque. Wikimedia, PeeJay2K3

Hundreds of supporters are expected to attend and all season ticket holders over the age of 65 have been invited by the club. There will be readings, prayers and poems during the day with a minute’s silence at 15:04.

United have already held a minute’s silence before last Saturday’s game against Huddersfield and the players wore black armbands. Also many fans gathered under the Munich plaque before the match to sing a rendition of the “Flowers of Manchester” song.

Martin led the singing on Saturday and will do the same for tomorrow’s service. He believes that it’s important for young fans to remember what happened.

He added “It’s part of the DNA of Manchester United. I was astounded on Saturday as there were a few thousand people there and a large proportion were young which means parents and grandparents are passing on all this information about Munich so it clearly means a lot to them.”