When Monday arrives, it will now be 65 years since the Munich air disaster, and with this date comes commemoration of all that we lost that dark, snowy night in Bavaria.
“As we welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford, we must first stop to pay our respects to those who lost their lives in the Munich Air Disaster,” reads a statement from United Manager Erik ten Hag before today’s home match against Crystal Palace.
Old Trafford falls silent to remember those that lost their lives in the Munich Air Disaster 65 years ago pic.twitter.com/SbCfpj9x8I
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) February 4, 2023
“This year marks the 65th anniversary of the crash, a chapter in club’s history which must always be remembered & respected.”
As you can see from the Tweet above, a moment of silence was held at Old Trafford today, prior to the kickoff of the clash against Crystal Palace.
Of the 44 people on their way home from United’s European Cup quarterfinal win over Red Star Belgrade that night, only 21 survived, and every year on this day, United fans all over the world remember this tragedy and pay homage to the memories of the Busby Babes.
Synonymous with the Munich Air Disaster is the iconic clock image- pictured above, credit World Clock. It’s something we see all over, on this day every year, within the United supporter community on the internet.
Some fans even make the clock image their avatar on their social media accounts. Club legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who survived the plane crash, was in attendance at the 2018 service held at Old Trafford.
Club legend of all club legends Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United first-team squad and then manager Jose Mourinho were on hand as well.
At his press conference ahead of the match that saw a moment of silence observed for the Munich Air Disaster, in 2018, Mourinho wore a clock pin.
The very first question and answer at the media session related to the clock pin and what it represents.
“I was telling before to MUTV that this is something that is part of my life, or part of my football culture, before I become Manchester United manager,” Mourinho told the assembled media
“And why? Because was such a tragedy that stayed in these last 60 years.”
“So as Manchester United manager, obviously means much more but I think it belongs to every sportsman as one of the biggest tragedies and at the same time is a crucial point in Manchester United history, the reaction, the strength, the union after that situation.
“And I think tomorrow is an amazing day to show the respect, to show the passion for the club, respect for them, the families and I think is a day to play well, is a day to bring happiness, to bring joy for people to be together, enjoying their colours and at the same time with showing all the respect for the people and the families.”
— Ron Walker (@ronnabe) February 4, 2023
Mourinho is absolutely right- it is an amazing day, every year on this day, for showing passion and respect.
He understood it, like Ten Hag understands it now. The Dutchman may only be in his first on the job at United, but he already gets this. #FlowersOfManchester
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.