Feb. 6 (UPI) — Manchester United held a service Tuesday at Old Trafford in England, 60 years after the Munich Air Disaster killed 23 people, including eight players.
The tribute included a minute of silence at 3:04 p.m., the same time as the crash. Former United players Harry Greg and Sir Bobby Charlton were at the ceremony. They both survived the crash.
The team was nicknamed the Busby Babes, after manager Sir Matt Busby. The Red Devils won the league title 1956 after an unbeaten season. They won the league again in 1957. United was great again in 1958 and traveled to Yugoslavia for a game on Feb. 3.
The Red Devils departed with a European Cup tie at Red Star Belgrade before a stop in Munich for fuel on Feb. 6. They attempted to take off twice from a German runway, but the attempts failed. A third attempt proved fatal, as the plane overshot the runway.
In total, 23 of the 44 passengers on board died in the crash, including journalists and fans. Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan were among the players lost.
“Forever and ever we’ll follow the boys of Manchester United, the Busby Babes,” Manchester United said in a poem on it’s website. “For we all remember that fifty eight day and the plane that once stood on the Munich runway. As it tried to take off for the third fatal time, the immortal young Babes were cut down in their prime. In the cold snow of Munich they laid down their lives. But they live on forever in our hearts and our minds. So come all supporters and hold your heads high, for Manchester United will never die. For Manchester United will never die. Will never die. Will never die. Will never die. Will never die. For Manchester United will never die.”
United beat Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday and battles Newcastle at 9:15 a.m. Sunday at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England.