Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Service held at Old Trafford to remember 1958 air crash

Service held at Old Trafford to remember 1958 air crash

United's current manager Jose Mourinho and captain Michael Carrick laid wreaths at the service which was also attended by Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino, UEFA vice-president Fernando Gomes, Manchester City ambassador Mike Summerbee and Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish. So come all supporters and hold your heads high, for Manchester United will never die.

Eight players, three staff, eight journalists, two crew members and two passengers were killed when the team's chartered British European Airways aircraft crashed on its third attempt to take off from a runway in slushy conditions. Twenty-three people died in total.

Charlton and Gregg, the only survivors from the group of players who lived through the crash, were both at the ceremony, held under snowy skies in the northwest of England along with former United manager Alex Ferguson.

Some surviving doctors and nurses involved in the treatment of manager Sir Matt Busby and his team were also in attendance.

"They will never be forgotten".

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John Valentine, who sells scarves outside Old Trafford, said the Munich crash is "ingrained in the history of this club".

"I do not think what happened in Munich made Manchester United".

"While I was Manchester United manager, the "Babes" were always a reference point for us, in terms of having belief and trust in what young players can do and building a loyalty base from there".

The tragedy in Munich is ingrained into the heart and soul of Manchester United.

Busby and Charlton's destiny was fulfilled 10 years later when the new-look Busby Babes, featuring George Best, lifted the European Cup, beating a Eusebio-inspired Benfica at Wembley Stadium.

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Ferguson, just 16 years old at the time of the Munich crash, told MUTV: "I'd gone to the library straight from school swatting for an exam and I was training with the local junior team". I didn't realise what had happened.

"I'm sure the whole public in Manchester felt that way, and Matt Busby carried great resonance for the people in Scotland, so it was keenly felt up there, too", Feguson told the Daily Star.

Another wrote "Absolutely disgusting no respect".

Vladica Popovic played for Red Star against United in 1958 and will be at the reception hosted in the same hotel that Busby and his side used 60 years ago. "The passion, determination and courage shown by the club to carry on in those frightful moments have left an indelible mark forever".

"Today marks an important and sombre anniversary in the history of this great city", she said in a speech in Manchester.

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