How we will mark the 66th anniversary of Munich

Friday 02 February 2024 17:00

Manchester United will mark the 66th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster at fixtures this weekend and memorial services next week.

Following the sad passing of Sir Bobby Charlton last year, this year’s anniversary will be the first without any living survivors from that devastating day in Munich.

Before and during this weekend’s men’s, women’s and Academy team games, United’s players, staff, and fans will pay respect to the 23 people who lost their lives on 6 February 1958, the darkest day in the club’s history.

Erik ten Hag and Marc Skinner will lead tributes at their respective league fixtures, laying commemorative wreaths on behalf of the club shortly before kick-off at Old Trafford and Leigh Sports Village. Players will also wear black armbands as a mark of respect, which will be replicated across all age groups this weekend.

At Old Trafford, families of the victims will attend Sunday's match against West Ham United as guests of our club, and in addition, flags will fly at half-mast, The Flowers of Manchester will play as the teams walk out, and a surfer banner paying respect to those lost will be unfurled in the Lower Streford End. Meanwhile, outside the stadium, a fan-led service will also take place, underneath the Munich memorial plaque from 12:00 – 12:30 GMT.
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United’s men’s Under-21 side paid their respects during their home fixture closest to the anniversary, against Norwich City at the Theatre of Dreams last Saturday. Coach Travis Binnion laid a wreath on the pitch before the match, and both teams donned black armbands in honour of the victims. Our remaining youth squads, including the women’s Under-21s and men’s Under-18s, alongside the club’s younger age groups, will also commemorate the disaster at their respective fixtures this coming weekend.

On Tuesday, memorial services will take place in both Manchester and Munich, led by fan group Munich58 at Old Trafford and Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF) at Manchesterplatz.

The service at Old Trafford will be attended by club dignitaries and will commence at 14:40 GMT underneath the Munich memorial plaque, led by Rev. John Boyers. The service will feature poems, songs, and readings before a two-minute silence at 15:04 GMT, marking the time of the tragic plane crash.

The event brochure, containing the order of service, can be downloaded here.

In Munich, former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan will join fans and club officials at the ceremony led by the MMMF. The service follows a similar order to the one held in Old Trafford with wreaths being placed on behalf of the club, the Association of Former Manchester United Players and the fans. Two minutes’ silence will be observed and followed by the traditional singing of The Flowers of Manchester.

In addition, a group of young people from the Manchester United Foundation’s Street Reds community football projects are preparing to make the trip over to Munich on Monday to join club representatives and supporters in commemorating the 66th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster. They will attend the memorial at Manchesterplatz where one of the eight young people travelling will lay a wreath, and another will read a poem.
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During their stay, the youngsters – some of whom will be experiencing their first trip outside the UK – will also enjoy an enriching cultural experience in the city, including a rooftop football match with local youth group Buntkicktgut.

In readiness for their trip, the participants attended an educational workshop at the club’s museum, where they had the opportunity to learn about the importance of the tragedy and hear from Rachel Viollet, daughter of Dennis Viollet - one of the all-time great United strikers and a Munich survivor.

Visit to learn more about the disaster and those who lost their lives.