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Manchester United will mark Munich Air Disaster this Sunday at Old Trafford against West Ham

by Alex Browne

Manchester United will mark the Munich Air Disaster on this upcoming Sunday 4th February against West Ham at Old Trafford.

The solemn event took place on the 6th of February 1958 and is etched into the history of the great club.

The Munich air disaster was an “airplane crash that occurred on February 6, 1958, after a British European Airways plane slid off the runway during takeoff from Munich, West Germany. The plane had been chartered by the Manchester United football (soccer) club, and 8 players were killed along with 15 other people”.

“In the second half of the 1950s, Manchester United was on the rise in European competition. On February 5, 1958, the club secured its place in the semifinals of the 1957–58 European Cup with a 3–3 draw against Red Star in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now in Serbia)”.

Probably the most famous name to perish was that of Duncan Edwards. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever graced the shirt, former United manager, Tommy Docherty claimed, “George Best was something special, as was Pele and Maradona, but in my mind Duncan was much better in terms of all-round ability and skill”.

Fellow legends like Sir Matt Busby, Sir Bobby Charlton, Harry Gregg and Dennis Viollet were also on the plane but managed to survive.

Ever since, the Red Devils have marked the occasion to pay their respects to the dead.

According to The Daily Mail, “United will mark 66 years since the Munich Air Disaster before and during the home game with West Ham on Sunday”.

“A fan led pre-match service will be held under the Munich clock outside the ground from 12pm, before commemorative events take place 10 minutes prior to the 2pm kick-off, including the laying of wreaths”.

“Flags will also fly at half-mast and players will wear black armbands. United are asking fans to arrive early to ‘pay their respects'”.

On the 10th of February 2008, to mark the 50th anniversary of the tragic day, United faced City and played in iconic 1950s replica shirts to honour “the Busby babes”. The Red Devils would lose the game 1-2 but it was an incredibly emotionally charged day that will go down in the club’s history.

If anyone wants to learn about the history of the event, the Old Trafford museum, the Munich Tunnel outside the stadium and the clock at the ground, permanently set at 3.04pm (when the plane crash took place), all provide great insight into the historic event.

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