Random acts of Red kindness in Munich

Monday 06 February 2023 12:31

Hundreds of Reds gathered in Munich over the weekend, to mark the 65th anniversary of the 1958 Munich Air Disaster, in which 23 people lost their lives, including eight United first-team players.

The memorial events around 6 February are well known, thanks to the sterling work done by fan groups like Munich58 and the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF). But less well known is a smaller event which takes place in Munich’s Marienplatz city-centre square the day before the anniversary.
At 5pm, when the bells rung in the square, travelling Reds presented their United scarves to the Munich residents around them, in a ‘random act of kindness’ to thank the city for its help in 1958 and the years since.
U13s hand out scarves in Munich Video

U13s hand out scarves in Munich

Our Under-13s joined a group of travelling Reds presenting their United scarves to Munich residents on Sunday...

“I got the original idea when I bumped into somebody from the village of Trudering [the location of Munich’s old Riem Airport] in 2015,” explains United fan Steve Donoghue. “They told me that they kept the memorial area nice and tidy, for absolutely nothing [in return]. The villagers were proud to keep it nice and clean, and plant flowers etc.
“I thought to myself: I don’t know who these people are. And nobody knows who was at the actual accident on the night – there were various firemen and villagers who helped with the bodies and the injured before any ambulances arrived. So the idea came to me: when you stood in the middle of Munich, it could be anybody’s mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, who helped during that terrible time.
“So who better to give a scarf to than a total stranger? I just wanted to give my scarf as a random act of kindness to say: ‘Thank you from Manchester.’”
A couple of years later, Donoghue asked friends if they would join in. By 2018, around 150 scarves were being exchanged in the square, as word spread via the Stretford Enders Worldwide (SEWW) group on Facebook.
“To see the joy on people’s faces when you say ‘This is to say thank you from Manchester United supporters for looking after our Busby Babes’ is amazing. They’re very thankful and can’t believe that you’re giving them your precious scarf.
“The main motivation is simple,” says Steve. “We should never forget what happened in Munich. I’m sure Munich and Trudering will never forget either. A lot of us Reds are getting older, so if we start this tradition, hopefully younger supporters will keep it going.”