Manchester United stars recite poignant poem in heartfelt tribute to victims of Munich Air Disaster on 60th anniversary

Manchester United iconic Busby Babes [Photo:Courtesy]

Manchester United's first-team stars have paid a heartfelt tribute to honor the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster alongside children from the club’s foundation.

Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford joined numerous juniors from various projects around Greater Manchester to take part in a special film.

Jesse Lingard joined the young people to pay tribute to Munich [Photo:Courtesy]
Young people from the foundation helped recite the poem [Photo:Courtesy]

The short production is based around poem which encompasses the lasting legacy of those who lost their lives on that fateful day in Germany in February 1958.

It echoes the club's determination for the Busby Babes will ‘never die’ in the hearts of the club and its fans.

Marcus Rashford was also used in the film [Photo:Courtesy]

Members of the Foundation's partner schools, powerchair football team, and Girls’ Regional Talent Club joined the United stars to recite the poem.

Tributes have poured in as players remember the fateful day. Manchester United winger Juan Mata is one of the people who penned a heartfelt message of remembrance.

“The day that is absolutely shown in red on this week’s calendar is on Tuesday, a day that marks the 60th anniversary of the air disaster,” Said Mata.

Young people from the greater Manchester were involved in the film [Photo:Courtesy]
Ander Herrera recited some part of the poem [Photo:Courtesy]

Lingard said: “As youth players, the history of the club is instilled in us and it’s really important that we learn and understand about what happened in 1958 – not just about the air disaster, but also what an amazing team the Busby Babes were and the legacy they left.

“All the players from the Academy through to the first team understand the importance of us remembering the Munich Air Disaster and we were really happy to support the Foundation film, because like the young people in the film, we all support Manchester United and its history, so it was a nice way to pay our respects.”

The Manchester United Foundation was formed in 2007 as a lasting legacy to the Busby Babes.

United are making the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster [Photo:Courtesy]

Meanwhile, Sir Bobby Charlton has written a beautifully poignant letter to the United stars of today, on the 60th anniversary of the disaster.

Eight of Matt Busby’s babes tragically lost their lives on February 6, 1958 when their plane crashed on the ­ice-bound runway of ­Munich-Riem Airport.

As Sir Bobby prepares to once again mourn his pals, the 80-year-old felt compelled to send a personal note to today’s players. They now wear the famous red shirts, as did Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Billy Whelan, who all died in the tragedy.

A fan reads a commemorative match programme from Saturday's game with Huddersfield [Photo:Courtesy]
Supporters attend a commemoration service at the permanent memorial for the disaster [Photo:Courtesy]

Charlton began by saying how “words cannot describe the devastating effect that this (disaster) had on the football club and the lives of those affected”.

And he touched on how the tragedy “was life-changing for so many of my good friends and colleagues”.

Proudly, he also remembered how “this great football club, which you are part of, has risen from its darkest hour in a way like no other”.

A banner was moved across the Stretford End ahead of the game on Saturday [Photo:Courtesy]

Sir Bobby Charlton's letter in full

I wanted to take the time to write to you as we approach the significant date of 6th February, in which Manchester United and the footballing world remembers and respects the Munich Air Disaster, which tragically affected this great club 60 years ago.

Sir Bobby Charlton has written to the Manchester United players [Photo:Courtesy]

Whilst I’m sure you have read and watched documentaries on this truly awful disaster, words cannot describe the devastating effect that this had on the football club and the lives of those affected.

Whether on board the plane that evening, or in the aftermath for those and their families and friends, this disaster was life-changing for so many of my good friends and colleagues.

On that night in 1958, we lost some of the greatest players and friends that I have made through football, along with a number of staff and journalists on board that flight, while the brave Duncan Edwards passed away days later, making the total of 23 lives lost from the accident.

The wreckage of European Airways Flight 609 [Photo:Courtesy]

The devastating effect still lives on and this great football club, which you are part of, has risen from its darkest hour in a way like no other.

From loaning players from Bishop Auckland football club to ensure fixtures could be played, to players retiring to take up new key roles within the club, the great Manchester United pulled through and went on to lift silverware under Sir Matt Busby following this tragedy.

Now, as the time comes to once again remember and pay respects to those victims and survivors of this disaster, I wanted to thank you in advance for the role which you and your team-mates will play in the upcoming tributes.

Seeing supporters and players unite every year to pay their respects is such a poignant moment and one that really shows the class of this club and everybody involved, and I thank you once again for the part you will play against Huddersfield Town in February, days before the anniversary on Tuesday.

The team, which was dubbed “Busby babes” had an air crash in Munich Germany, after they had played their game in Belgrade Serbia in 1958. The incident claimed the lives of 8 players plus other coaching staff members making it one of the most tragic moments in the history of Red Devils.

Harry Gregg and Bobby Charlton are the survivors of the crash, which Manchester fans will be revisiting emotionally on February 6, 2018.


By Brian Ngugi 10 mins ago
Premium Panic dollar buying drives shilling to another record low
Kepsa condemns opposition call for business boycotts
Premium Like in 2016, weekly protests may leave Kenya's economy worse off
By We Forum 19 hrs ago
Real Estate
Sustainable buildings make sense for planet and business
The Standard
Make this Easter memorable with our KES999 annual offer!