On 6th February 1958, the plane that was carrying Manchester United players and staff had crashed and eight-team players lost their lives who are now known as Busby Babes for their sporting success. Sir Matt Busby, who is regarded as one of the best managers that Manchester United ever had and was the main man who gathered some of the finest players who surprised entire England. In the disaster, a total of 23 people lost their lives.
Sir Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards were two extraordinary players in the team. In fact, 21 years old Duncan was one of the finest players of his generation and he had the full potential to have his name in England’s greatest ever footballer’s category.
The team had won two Championships in a row (1955/56- 1956/57) and were known as Busby Babes. Sir Matt Busby had bigger plans for them and wanted to make the team play for tournaments where no English Club had got an entry previously. United became the first English side to ever compete for the European Cup.
In the season before, the team reached the semi-finals but were defeated by Real Madrid.
The reason behind the Munich Air disaster
At that time, the Domestic league matches and European matches were on Saturdays and midweek respectably. In order to avoid league fixtures and avoid points deduction, travelling by air was the only solution. The team played against Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia in quarter-finals and drew the match by 3-3 and progressed as they beat them 5-4 on aggregate.
On the flight back, the world saw the disaster. A stop-off in Munich for refuelling turned out to be a tragedy and in the end, eight first-team players lost their lives.
Players who lost their lives
- Geoff Bent
- Roger Byrne
- Eddie Colman
- Duncan Edwards
- Mark Jones
- David Pegg
- Tommy Taylor
- Liam “Billy” Whelan
Manchester United Staff who lost their lives
- Walter Crickmer – club secretary
- Tom Curry – trainer
- Bert Whalley – chief coach
Crew members who lost their lives
- Captain Kenneth Rayment
- Tom Cable
Journalists who lost their lives
- Alf Clarke
- Donny Davies
- George Follows
- Tom Jackson
- Archie Ledbrooke
- Henry Rose
- Frank Swift
- Eric Thompson
Regular passengers who lost their lives
- Bela Miklos
- Willie Satinoff