06/02/2008 15:36, Report by Adam Bostock

Thousands flock to stadium

Thousands of United supporters gathered underneath the Munich clock at Old Trafford on Wednesday afternoon to remember those who died 50 years ago.

The crowd filled the forecourt from the corner of the East Stand to the entrance of the South Stand tunnel - now renamed the Munich Tunnel. A temporary gantry enabled TV camera crews to capture the scenes as the fans sang, fell silent and then sang again.

A hush descended as audio from the memorial service in the Manchester Suite was played outside over the tannoy. Club chaplain Reverend John Boyers read out the names of the 23 people who perished, finishing just before 3.04pm when a minute's silence was observed.

Renditions of United, United and The Red Flag brought an essence of the matchday atmosphere to the proceedings. The traditional song that's heard every year under the Munich clock, The Flowers of Manchester, was then sung before the crowd dispersed.

Inside, the memorial service continued with Rev Boyers handing over to broadcaster and United supporter Eamonn Holmes. He interviewed a succession of attendees including Reds legends Sir Bobby Charlton, Harry Gregg and Nobby Stiles, journalist David Meek, current academy coach Paul McGuinness and UEFA general secretary David Taylor.

Also in the congregation were crash survivors, relatives of the 23 victims, ex-players from the Munich era and beyond, and current club staff from Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill to players including Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

Meanwhile, hundreds of United fans attended a service at the crash site in Trudering, near Munich. Flowers were laid at a commemorative plaque.


Premier League