MMMF film shows that fans are the soul of United

Monday 18 September 2023 16:00

The song that provides episode two of our new 'One Love' series with its title is known to United fans as 'We'll Never Die'.

You'll hear it all the time at Old Trafford – usually towards the end of notable games, whether we've staged a memorable late comeback or even if we have fallen to a defeat.
It's a song of defiance, referring back to the Busby Babes and the Munich Air Disaster. 
"United's flag is deepest red, it shrouded all our Munich dead. Before their limbs grew stiff and cold, their hearts' blood dyed its every fold."
Heavy stuff, but it says what our new film, Keep the Red Flag Flying High, manifests in every frame: Munich and the Babes is at the core of what it means to be a Manchester United fan.
One Love | Keep The Red Flag Flying High Video

One Love | Keep The Red Flag Flying High

MUTV Original | 'Keep The Red Flag Flying High' is our film about the vital Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation...

That's why the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF) was formed back in 2017, ahead of the 60th anniversary of the air disaster.
A group of supporters were keen to make sure the landmark was honoured with something meaningful, something authentic. And the success of that year's ceremony in Bavaria, and their fundraising around the event, inspired them to pick up the momentum and run with it.
Six years later, the MMMF has charitable status, a board of directors (Brian Kidd is honorary president) and the funds it has raised support youth-focused charities in Belgrade, Manchester and Munich – the three cities forever associated with 6 February 1958.
But the core mission is about the Babes. And you can see it in Keep the Red Flag Flying High.
Most of those involved in the MMMF never saw them play. But like many of us younger United fans, we grew up with stories of Duncan Edwards and co. How could we not?

Our parents and grandparents watched them week in, week out, and they're not remembered simply because of the tragic fate that cut them down in their prime. Not by a long stretch. For those that don't know much about them, know this: there is a very strong argument that they were the greatest football team this club has ever produced.
They were winning league titles by 11 points, at a time when you only received two for each victory. They reached the semi-final of the European Cup at the first time of asking, when the team's average age was around 22. You could drive yourself mad thinking about what they could have achieved in the future that was cruelly taken away from them.

Who are the MMMF?


The Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation has gone from a ‘ragtag bunch of lads’ to a professionally run charity.

But they left us with something much more powerful than silverware: a sense of identity, of duty, that remains to this day.
That's what the MMMF represent so well. With first-hand memories of the Babes now sadly ebbing out of living memory, the onus is on all of us Reds to ensure their legacy is 'preserved and enhanced', as the MMMF put it.
In the film, you see how this works. Fan Michelle Skinner – chosen as one of the supporters to represent our fanbase at the annual ceremony in Munich – grew up with her relatives' stories of the Babes. Now she's passing them on to her daughter, Gabriella. By going to Munich, the youngster learns about the emotional weight of this critical bit of United history.

It's a natural process, but it requires energy and passion to keep these bonds strong over time, as we get further and further away from 1958.
'We're doing it because we love United' Video

'We're doing it because we love United'

Keep The Red Flag Flying High | Watch the opening scene from the second film in our One Love series...

The new episode of our One Love MUTV Originals series is a moving insight into the way the MMMF goes about its work: without fanfare, with humility, and with a respect and passion for the traditions of Manchester United always central.
More than any other team, the Busby Babes set the all-time standards for this football club: to play without fear, with pace and panache; to take on the rest of England and Europe without ever contemplating a step back.
Sometimes, players and fans can veer away from that, distracted by the soap-opera-like circus that is modern-day football. But the example and the history is always available, reminding us of the way forward.
The MMMF knows that better than anyone, and their important work means that the Babes' legacy continues to have a big impact in the 21st century. Keep the Red Flag Flying High, indeed.
The second episode of our One Love series, 'Keep the Red Flag Flying High', is available across our platforms now.