Juan Mata has claimed that Manchester United’s players were playing for those who were tragically killed in the Munich Air Disaster.
The 60h-anniversary of the defining moment in Man United’s history was ‘celebrated’ on Saturday against Huddersfield Town, the closest game to the actual anniversary, which is on Tuesday.
It’s always a poignant time of year at United, and even more so this year in the 60th-anniversary year. Survivors of the crash were at Old Trafford on Saturday and a minute’s silence was wonderfully-observed ahead of the game while fans were given a pack containing a special book on the disaster and the matchday programme, filled with tributes to the eight players that died as well as the journalists, airline pilots and other figures who were sadly killed.
“Obviously it was a special game, a very sad memory,” Mata said after the game.
“It was a thing that changed the history of the club and the club showed the passion and the energy that we all have in Manchester United.”
Mata said the Reds had won for those who died in the crash on February 6th, 1958.
“So, we pay respect to the victims and their families, and they will always be in our memories.
“It was a game to win for them and we did it.”
United’s identity has been utterly shaped by tragedy in Munich in 1958 and the club can never forget those that died. That’s not just the eight players but the others who perished in the disaster, too, who are too often forgotten about.