Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Sport | By

Beckham leads tributes to Man Utd heroes on Munich anniversary

Beckham leads tributes to Man Utd heroes on Munich anniversary

United were returning from a European Cup tie with Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia when the plane they were travelling in crashed following a refuelling stop in Germany.

Marcus Rashford, who follows in United's proud tradition of blooding young, homegrown players, said he learned about the disaster as a young child.

Manchester United on Tuesday marked 60 years since the Munich air crash ripped the heart out of the "Busby Babes" team with a service at Old Trafford attended by survivors Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg.

Gregg, the former goalkeeper who had spent time at United's training ground earlier in the day, sung along with Abide With Me as the ceremony ended.

"The spirit of the club is created by all these young players, and that began back then", he told the club's official match program United Review.

Around 3,000 fans visited Trudering, a small suburb of Munich where the Munich-Riem airport once stood where 23 passengers, including eight of the Busby Babes and three club staff, lost their lives in the 1958 Munich air disaster.

Manager Matt Busby's side were English champions and had reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and had defied the English FA to enter the European Cup, a newly created tournament between teams on the continent.

Two of the club's former defenders, Ronny Johnsen and Gary Neville, also reflected on the tragedy, with the latter posting a video of Tracey Malone singing "The Flowers of Manchester".

"I missed out on those players but I have spoken to people who did and they talk about Duncan Edwards", said Valentine, who sells a scarf with the words "They shall never die" with the images of the eight who perished.

The Professional Footballers' Association posted: "Today, on the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, we remember those that tragically lost their lives". Our thoughts are with those affected by the disaster.

British Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to those killed and injured at Munich during a speech in Manchester on Tuesday.

Turning to the Babes, widely regarded as one of Britain's best-ever football teams, he added that they meant "everything" to United and suggested they were the reason United are one of the world's biggest clubs today. "The crew, journalists and, of course, the talented footballers who died that day will never be forgotten".

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