62 years ago, on 6th February 1958, Manchester United football club lost eight of their players along with 15 others in a plane crash. The team was known as the Busby Babes because of their youth and also the name of their manager, Matt Busby.
In remembrance of the disaster that caused a dark mood in what should have been a glorious time for the club, Twitter users trended the hashtag #FlowersOf Manchester. They also coined a poem for them:
“A broken plane
A broken dream
A broken heart
A broken team
No words said
A silent vow
We loved you then
We love you now”
Football teams all over Europe and the world have also commemorated the victims. See some of the top tweets:
The thoughts of #LFC are with all those affected by the Munich air disaster.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 6, 2020
Our thoughts today are with our friends at @ManUtd and all those affected by the Munich Air Disaster 62 years ago. The Busby Babes will live on forever. #FlowersOfManchester #MUFC pic.twitter.com/kv5mGWs9h9
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) February 6, 2020
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 6, 2019
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Today we remember the #FlowersofManchester.
Gone but never forgotten. pic.twitter.com/4NqE2JYEO5
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 6, 2019
The team had been on their way back to England to continue their impressive domestic league run. They had just gone through to the semi-finals of the European Cup after a 3-3 draw to Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia.
However, they had to refuel in Munich before continuing their journey. It was while taking off from Munich-Riem Airport, West Germany, that the fatal accident occurred.
Captain Thain had started evacuating passengers because he feared an explosion. Also, the Manchester United goalkeeper then, Harry Gregg helped pull survivors from the wreckage.
Twenty of the 44 on the aircraft died at the scene. The injured were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich. While there, three more died, taking the death toll to a final 23 leaving 21 survivors.
It took ten years after the incident to establish that the crash was caused by the slush on the runway. It had slowed the plane too much to take off.
The crash affected Manchester United football club’s ambitions. It also by extension affected the English football team. Matt Busby who is was the team’s manager and had survived the crash used 10 years to rebuild the team and its spirit.
Today, players, fans, rivals and many others have come together to support the football club. The club is also holding its annual Supporter’s Remembrance Event under The Munich Plaque at Old Trafford, the club’s home ground.
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