Ryan Giggs tells ManUtd.com how the current players learned about the air disaster in the lead-up to its 50th anniversary (in 2008) and discusses the impact it had on them...
Can you recall when you first learned about Munich?
As a fan growing up, you’re aware of Munich but as a kid you don’t really know too much about it. I gradually learned more as I joined the club full-time and began to see Sir Matt Busby around Old Trafford. I used to see him regularly because the room where we used to pick up our wages as apprentices was near to his office. Then we had Sir Bobby Charlton coming down to watch the youth team, which he still does today. We had never seen Sir Matt manage or Sir Bobby play so we used to ask what they were like. Inevitably, Munich began to come up around those questions and I began to learn more about it.
Patrice Evra has talked about United's "strong identity" and his urge to learn about the club. Do you agree current players need to understand the history?
Yes, I do. New players, especially the foreign players, are joining a club which they think is great and offers them everything that comes from United being successful over the last 10 to 15 years. But also when you actually come to the club, you learn more about the support that we’ve got worldwide and you gather more information about the history. We all watched a DVD about Munich recently. It was really important for the squad to watch that and learn about what happened. Not only about the crash itself but also the success they had before it and how the team moved forward in the aftermath, from winning the next game to winning the European Cup 10 years later.
Did anything surprise you when you watched the DVD?
Yes, there were things I didn’t know about the crash. I didn’t know how soon United played again afterwards, just 13 days later, and that players like Bill Foulkes and Harry Gregg who survived the crash were in the team. I thought that was unbelievable. But it wasn’t just the DVD that surprised me. Sir Bobby also spoke that day as someone who witnessed every thing first hand. It was great to hear him speaking about his experiences of playing in Europe at the time and how different it was then. He gave us a picture of how