How the Munich anniversary was marked

Tuesday 08 February 2022 11:30

Manchester United remembered those who lost their lives in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958 with a series of poignant ceremonies – both on and off the pitch – over the weekend to mark the 64th anniversary of the tragedy.

Our interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, was joined by Middlesbrough’s Chris Wilder on Friday evening in placing wreathes on the pitch before the FA Cup tie between the two teams, which was attended by relatives of the eight United players who perished in the disaster.

An emotional rendition of ‘The Flowers of Manchester’ welcomed 44 members of the families to their seats before the match and, as the stadium flags flew at half mast, the modern-day players paid tribute to their predecessors – the Busby Babes - by wearing black armbands.
Matchday tributes for Munich Video

Matchday tributes for Munich

See how this weekend's anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster was marked before kick-off against Middlesbrough...

Prior to the game, captain Harry Maguire explained the importance of the occasion for the current players.

“It’s a really important day every year when it’s the anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster," he said. “But it’s a tragedy from which the club has built a lot of its tradition and foundations, and it shows its togetherness with the fans when the anniversary comes around.”

On Saturday, at our Women’s Super League away match against Arsenal, both teams wore black armbands at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park, while at Leigh Sports Village our Under-23s, also in black armbands, played in front of flags that were positioned in the North Stand to remember the players we lost 64 years ago.
On Wednesday, the Under-18s will wear black armbands and lay flowers during the FA Youth Cup Fifth Round match at Old Trafford against Everton, completing this year’s commemorations.

Fans paid their respects in a ceremony beneath the Munich memorial at Old Trafford on Sunday, with the annual ritual, organised by the fan group Munich58, resuming after a break due to the pandemic. Former club chaplain Rev John Boyers led the service and United legend Wes Brown laid a wreath.

As 'The Flowers of Manchester' was sung once more, the fans in attendance and those watching worldwide, via MUTV, the website and app, held two minutes of silence at 15:04 GMT – the time of the plane crash 64 years ago – as the names of all those who lost their lives were read out.
As in previous years, our Under-13s also attended the service at Old Trafford. Two members of the team read poems and two others laid a wreath on behalf of everyone at the Manchester United Academy. 

The service, organised by Munich58, can be watched on demand here. 

The anniversary was also marked in Munich itself, where the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation and its chair Pat Burns led the commemorations. More than 300 United fans attended the service in Manchesterplaz – the site of the crash – and paid their respects. The service can be watched here.

Manchester United thanks all the fans, players and managers who have taken part in this year’s commemorations to remember this tragic moment in the history of our club.