February 6, 1958 is a day that will be forever-remembered in the hearts of every Manchester United supporter, because it was a day that a team died and a club was born.
The thought of “Munich Air Disaster” brings people a sinking feeling to most people – not just United supporters – because of the massive amount of lives it claimed.
23 people lost their lives as a result of the plane crash – eight players and three members of the club’s staff were among those.
The players who’s lives were lost in this horrific crash were Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam ‘Billy’ Whelan.
The club’s secretary Walter Crickmer, trainer Tom Curry and coach Bert Whalley also lost their lives on the cold, snowy day.
The other people that died from the result of the crash were Kenneth Rayment (co-pilot), Tom Cable (steward), Alf Clarke (journalist), Donny Davies (journalist), George Follows (journalist), Tom Jackson (journalist), Archie Ledbrooke (journalist), Henry Rose (journalist), Frank Swift (journalist), Eric Thompason (journalist), Bela Miklos (travel agent) and Willie Satinoff (supporter).
United were flying on their way back from European Cup tie with Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) a match which they drew 3-3.
They tried their take off three different times and the third time proved to be a very costly one as the plane nosed-dive back down to earth.
Matt Busby, who was not only manager, but also a father figure to the players faced a real battle for his life. He spent nearly two months in the hospital recovering from his severe – almost fatal – injuries.
The manager used the love, support and admiration of not his wife, but his family at the club.
He knew that he no choice, but to recover, so he could continue to lead the players he took on as young boys and groom them into the finish product.
Sir Bobby Charlton, who was one of the 21 survivors, said that Edwards was the only player that made him feel inferior.
This is was the ultimate to Edwards, because Charlton is United’s all-time leading goalscorer with 249 goals and made 758 appearances for the club.
Edwards, who was only 21, was one of the most-feared players not only in club football, but international football as well.
To this day, some of United’s rival fans chant about Munich Air Disaster, spread their arms and pretend they are a plane going down or make airplane sounds.
On the 50th Anniversary of the crash, Manchester City fans that were inside of Old Trafford showed their respect as they remained quiet during the moment of silence for the fallen victims.
The emotion of the occasion got the best and took the wind out of the United player’s sails and they were unable to pay a fitting tribute to them as they lost 2-1 to their city rival.
The eight players who had their lives cut short prematurely that day, were filled with not only so much promise in the sport, but in life itself, so it is no wonder this has been dubbed the “Darkest Day” in Manchester United’s history.
This article was wrote three years ago by David Hammons. After taking a break from writing, he decided to have it republished with Stretty News. Follow him on Twitter – @united_religion