February 6th will forever be circled on the calendars of everyone connected with Manchester United.
On that day in 1958, the landscape changed forever when Matt Busby's young side, with the world at their feet, were destroyed- with the legendary manager very nearly going with them.
The team were returning from a European Cup tie at Red Star Belgrade, but having secured a passage into the semi-final, the team's plane crashed on take-off at Munich, killing eight players and 23 people in all.
Now, every year on the day of the disaster, players past and present, fans and officials of the club come together to pay tribute.
Today, boss Louis van Gaal was in attendance as a large crowd gathered under the memorial and Munich clock on the corner of the East Stand to remember the 57th anniversary of the tragedy.
The manager laid a wreath and stood in silence to observe proceedings at 3.04pm (the exact time of the crash) before joining with the singing of the Munich hymn "The Flowers of Manchester"
At his West Ham press conference he read a passage from one of the speeches at the ceremony, poignantly ending with: "We must always honour the victims in our hearts and continue to play the Manchester United way."
It has often been debated about what that team of phenomenally talented young players could have gone on to achieve had Munich not cut them down in their prime, but United rose from the ashes and conquered Europe 10 years later.
Sir Matt overcame his horrific injuries, and, inspired by the spirit of his "Babes" built another great side culminating in a 4-1 win over Benfica at Wembley.
The tragedy has left an indelible mark on United's history and, although we carried on and the club returned to its glory days, the impact of the disaster will never be lost on anyone who has this great club dear to their heart.
We will never forget.
The Flowers of Manchester
Post a Comment