Munich Memories of A Manchester Lad – The Final Word

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By Worried Turkey.

These will be my last words regarding the Munich Air Disaster. I have not mentioned all the players that represented United during the 1957-58 season – in the main I have concentrated on the players that either perished or survived that awful tragedy.  There were a few players that helped in the aftermath of Munich and as I continue, I will try to mention each and every one because without them we could not have carried on.

I was scared when I started to write these diaries – I had never previously retold the stories and it was with great trepidation I agreed to do this. I would just like to thank Stretford End Arising for allowing me to vent my feelings and thoughts. On that note I’ll put a little thought into your head. Can you imagine what it was like going to Old Trafford as a kid, watching several players that were not a lot older than yourself, who you tried to replicate when kicking the front of your shoes (if you could afford ‘em… ha ha) as you kicked a tin can in the streets. Then try to feel the pain, the shock and the complete helplessness of not being able to do anything on hearing news about the smash. Words simply cannot do justice…

The crash became the defining moment in the history of Manchester United – it was the biggest tragedy of English, no any football club. We were going to be the English version of Real Madrid – we were going to rule Europe. The passion and emotion swept through everybody. People who weren’t football supporters wept openly in the street. Mothers clasped their young sons to their pinny’s and cried. The feeling was everywhere you went – for days street corners were full of people waiting for news. People rushed to anybody who owned a television or the corner shop waiting for the headlines to change on the paper stand. Schools even closed and memorial services were held all over the world. The best, no, the greatest English side had been wiped out…

Beside the club, players, managers and not forgetting the sterling work of the German doctors, credit is due to the Manchester United fans. The fans of that time must count themselves as the greatest ever – they came back from diversity and were like an extra player for those in the team. Without those fans, I believe certain players would not have stepped foot on the pitch with the same desire. I would like to say a big thank you!! Like a phoenix we rose from the ashes and we reap the rewards today…

This is my last piece on the Munich air disaster. I would like to thank you for staying with me and hope my recounts of life in Manchester after the crash has not been boring. You may have learnt something about Man United, even a little and if the case, Munich Memories of a Manchester Lad has not been a waste… Thanks once again.

Sorry, just one more word. This sums up better than I ever could…

I’ll see you again my Red Devil friends
I’ll hear you around my door
Touching my life like so many memories before
I was a child and so easily led
You were the leaders of men
Now I doubt in my life if this ever happens again
Oh, how I cried when my mama said
Busby’s Babes, son, they’re dead
Oh how I remember that miserable day
When something was taken from me
Out on a snow covered runway in West Germany
Oh, how I cried when my mama said
Busby’s Babes, son, they’re dead

(By Iain Matthews, from the album “Pure & Crooked”)

I would like to add my own comment. In this article worriedturkey thanks me, but it is I who is thankful for WT’s contribution. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading his account of those tragic events in 1958 and I hope you have too. This is not the last you will hear from worriedturkey, he will continue to contribute articles starting with the 1958-59 season.

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Register with the Stretford End Arising forum.

You can read Part 1-7 plus the Final Word here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Munich Memories of A Manchester Lad – The Final Word

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