The club were returning from a successful match in Belgrade and had stopped in Munich to refuel.
The events that unfolded after the party boarded the plane for the last time would be engraved not only in the memories of those who lived through the terrible tragedy that would unfold, but also in the generations of supporters who would carry the light of their lost heroes forward so that no one would ever forget.
The club also lost Walter Crickmer, club secretary, Tom Curry, trainer and Bert Whalley, chief coach.
|Murphy & Busby.|
The match was at an emotionally charged Old Trafford in the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. Charlton wasn't fit enough to play but Gregg and Foulkes took part in a match that United won 3-0. A poignant match programme had a blank team sheet where the names of the babes should have been.
Matt Busby and his boys were the pioneers of English teams in Europe, it should never be forgotten that they died for a dream that Busby had of taking his team to the pinnacle of European football. A dream they would surely have realised if not in the same season then in the next.
It should also be remembered that the English FA was strongly against Manchester United entering the European Cup beginning the uneasy tension that has been evident between the two ever since.
Not only did United lose a team but also the world of journalism lost it's valued colleagues including: Frank Swift (News of the World), Henry Rose (Daily Express), Eric Thompson (Daily Mail), George Follows (Daily Herald), Archie Ledbrooke (Daily Mirror), Alf Clarke (Manchester Evening Chronicle), Tom Jackson (Manchester Evening News) and H D “Donny” Davies (Manchester Guardian).
As each year passes it's only natural that people connected with the events surrounding Munich pass away, but what is important is that we should never forget that this one heartbreaking disaster is the bedrock of our truly great club. The tears for our lost Flowers of Manchester should never stop flowing and nor should people forget the legacy that Matt Busby and his Babes gave to the greatest team in the world and football.
They are the team that will never die.