Manchester United supporters today marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, in which 8 players lost their lives, with a commemorative service at Old Trafford, which brought a lump to many of their throats.
On the 6th February 1958, the plane carrying members of United's team back from a match in Belgrade, stopped to refuel at Munich, but crashed as it tried to take off again three hours later. The crash decimated the team, and has remained in the collective memory of football fans worldwide, and many younger United fans still 'remember' it clearly.
Fans started to turn up at the Theatre of Dreams (Old Trafford) as early as 6am this morning to lay wreaths, and several schoolboys left scarves as a tribute to their heroes. One of them, 9-year-old Selwyn Ostlethwaite, who, unusually, is a Reds fan that actually lives in Manchester, said:
"It's such a shame. That Duncan Edwards - brilliant. The best player I never saw."
Another, Albert Tatlock Jnr, 21, told reporters:
"I was gutted. I just broke down and wept when me mam told me about what had happened. Mind you, this was in 1992 when I was 6."
One fan, Jonny Johnsson, who travels by train from Stockholm in Sweden every week on the 19:58 Sympathy Express, summed it up perfectly when he said:
"The Busby Babes were the greatest football team ever. Beautiful flowing football, silky skills, a triumph until the tragic disaster cut their young lives short in their prime. At least, that's what my dad said."