Special issue of programme salutes the Babes

Friday 03 February 2023 13:00

Saturday's Premier League match against Crystal Palace will be a poignant one for all associated with Manchester United, as we mark the 65th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.

A minute's silence will be held before kick-off, and wreaths laid on the pitch to remember the 23 people who died – including eight first-team players, three members of staff and one supporter, Willie Satinoff.

Appropriately, the cover of our matchday programme, United Review, features not one of our current heroes, but a beautiful, colourised shot of a classic Busby Babes line-up: Ray Wood; Bill Foulkes, Roger Byrne; Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones; Johnny Berry, Dennis Viollet, Tommy Taylor, Billy Whelan, David Pegg.

This special, commemorative 100-page issue of UR is primarily a loving tribute to possibly United's greatest-ever team.

The Babes’ last footballing act on British soil


We salute the free-scoring, free-spirited victory over Arsenal on 1 February 1958, before tragedy struck in Munich.

Inside, our writers assess the meaning of Munich today, 65 years on, and look back on the timeline of events in February 1958 – a month which changed Manchester United forever.

We pay individual tribute to the eight phenomenal players that lost their lives as a result of the tragedy: Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Billy Whelan.

We also remember Walter Crickmer, Tom Curry and Bert Whalley – three wonderful servants to our club – who also perished.
Sixty-five years on, we have also assembled new first-hand memories of the Babes' historic achievements and ineradicable style.

We speak to fans who watched them play and were dazzled by their brilliance; we hear from survivors from Munich and relatives of the players.

UR also gives thanks to Bayern Munich, who have done so much over the years to help keep the legacy of the Babes alive.

A lasting legacy


Will Balderston speaks passionately about his grandfather, Sir Bobby Charlton, and our Foundation's links to Munich.

There's an interview with the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF),  a fan group that organises the yearly memorial ceremony in Germany and also raises money for children's charities in Manchester, Belgrade and Munich in honour of the Babes.

We also look back at how UR has marked notable anniversaries of Munich in the past.

There are also exclusive columns from manager Erik ten Hag and club captain Harry Maguire.

How we will mark the 65th anniversary of Munich


United will remember the 1958 disaster at fixtures this weekend and memorial services next week.

We believe this issue is a fitting tribute to the Babes and all those affected by Munich.

If you would like to read about their magnificent feats and what an impression they made on everyone who encountered them, pick up a programme at the Crystal Palace match, or you can order online.