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Munich disaster

ZU: Ah, Munich, 609 Zulu Uniform is ready for take off

MT: 609, the wind is 300, 10 knots, you are cleared for take off

(ZU: Zulu Uniform; MT: Munchen Tower)

These where the last 2 lines, that ended the usual clearance check-up for a plane to take off. Zulu Uniform was about to take off from Munich Airport, for the third time, after 2 abandoned take-offs. Unfortunately for many people inside the plane, this moment was to be their last lived moment, as this take-off was not abandoned but was to be the greatest disaster in football's history. Shortly after take off the plane crashed into the fields that surrounded the airport, ending partially United's dream of winning the European Cup that season.

In a field that surrounded the airport, lay the remains of what used to be a great team that had won the heart of many adoring British supporters. A team built by the famous Sir Matt Busby. A team whose average age was only twenty-five years. A team that is now gone but never forgotten

A horrible scene: The top part of the fuselage including the cockpit

From the disaster, one can say that half of the United team had been destroyed. 7 players and 3 staff had been killed and the rest all injured. The horrifying death list, after two weeks included:

 

. Roger Bryne, 28 years (Left-Back, Captain)

. Mark Jones, 24 years (Centre Half)

. Duncan Edwards, 21 years (Wing Half)

. Eddie Coleman, 21 years (Right Half)

. Tommy Taylor, 26 years (Centre Forward)

. Liam Whelan, 22 years (Inside Right)

. David Pegg, 22 years (Outside Left)

. Geoff Bent, 25 (Left- Back)

. Walter Crickmer (Club - Secretary)

. Bent Whalley (Chief Coach)

. Tommy Currey (Trainer)

In total 23 people lost there lives in the Munich Air Disaster. All the other people that had nothing to do with the Man United playing team or staff, totalled 13, these included  journalists and flight attendants. One of the journalists was Frank Swift, who was once a great Manchester City player. It is also important to note that the last person that died was 21 year old Duncan Edwards, who died two weeks after the crash in hospital after a heroic battle between life and death

The Man United lines-up, for what would be their final match together as a team

It must be said that the following week all matches where played under 2 minute silence and all players had to wear a black strip on their arms. Manchester United themselves postponed the match against Wolves but the next match against Sheffield United was played. Astonishingly, Sir Matt Busby, managed to gather up eleven players, two of which where new signings and won the match 3-0. It was the beginning of a new era for Man United who just 10 years later won the European Cup.

Nearly 50 years have now passed since this tragic occasion that shocked the whole world and that of football. Although the players who died in this tragedy are gone forever they shall never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.

This clock still stands at Old Trafford showing the exact time  the disaster occurred.

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