23 people died in the plane crash at Munich, including eight players from the Man Utd squad
On February 6, 1958, a plane carrying a Manchester United team led by legendary manager Sir Matt Busby swerved off the Munich runway and crashed into a house causing an explosion. At least 23 people died in the crash, including eight players from that squad. Sixty-one years later, the people of Manchester still observe a moment of silence at 15.04 on this fateful day to remember their fallen heroes.
After their 3-3 draw against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia, which also secured their progression to the European Cup semi-finals, the team was set to fly back to England with a stopover at Munich to refuel when tragedy struck. That squad was fondly called ‘Busby Babes’ after their manager Matt Busby and was one of the most successful teams of that decade.
The aircraft, an Airspeed Ambassador 2, reached Munich safely but faced issues after refuelling. The pilots attempted two failed take-offs which were aborted due to engine issues. By the time the aircraft was ready for a third attempt, heavy snowfall meant that the runway was covered in slush. The slush prevented the plane from reaching the speed required for take-off and with not enough runway left to abort take-off, the flight crashed into a nearby house causing an explosion.
The crash claimed the lives of Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan — all part of the squad. Three club staff members, eight journalists, two crew members and two passengers who lost their lives in the incident.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 6, 2019
Arch rivals and next-door neighbour Manchester City paid their respects with this post.
Other clubs also took to the social media platform to share their respects.
Paying our respects on the 61st anniversary of the Munich air disaster. pic.twitter.com/AJ7zwKB7Nj— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 6, 2019
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 6, 2019
Never forgotten. #FlowersOfManchesterFebruary 6, 2019
Today we remember the #FlowersofManchester.
Gone but never forgotten. pic.twitter.com/4NqE2JYEO5— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 6, 2019
Both current and former players also shared posts remembering the fallen heroes.
The thoughts of #LFC are with all those affected by the Munich air disaster.February 6, 2019
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 6, 2019
No fan,player, manager or club official should ever go to a game and not return home safely.
Never forget #FlowersOfManchester— Robbie Fowler (@Robbie9Fowler) February 6, 2019
— Patrice Evra (@Evra) February 6, 2019
— Danny Webber (@DanielWebber81) February 6, 2019
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) February 6, 2019
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) February 6, 2019