The sporting world was stunned on this day in 1958, as seven members of Manchester United football team were killed when their chartered aeroplane crashed at Munich’s Riem airport. It overshot the runway and hit a house and a tree before smashing through a hut, which exploded, before skidding to a halt.

The pilot, James Thain, and surviving crew members began evacuating passengers with the help of United goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who had escaped with light injuries.

Pegg, Taylor and Byrne were England internationals, while Whelan had represented Ireland. Munich survivors Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes both played in the 4-1 victory over Benfica of Portugal. The British European Airways (BEA) plane caught fire shortly after take off this afternoon with 38 passengers and six crew on board.

Berry and Blanchflower were both evicted from their houses owned by United within two years of the crash, while other survivors were sold on relatively quickly; Gregg, in particular, has been a vocal critic of the club’s attitude to survivors and their families over the years. Two of the team that survived, Johnny Berry and Jackie Blanchflower, would never play football again.

On its way back to Manchester from Yugoslavia, the BEA Airspeed Ambassador plane had stopped to refuel in Munich. Team manager Matt Busby (above, arriving back at home) was read the last rites twice, but recovered after spending two months in hospital. Sir Bobby Charlton pens emotional letter to Manchester United's current stars asking them not to forget those who died in Munich air... Sir Bobby Charlton, who lost eight teammates in the … On 6 February 1958, a charter plane carrying 44 people crashed after refuelling at Munich Airport. The players that died on impact were Eddie Colman, 21, Liam Whelan, 22, David Pegg, 22, Mark Jones, 24, Geoff Bent, 25, Tommy Taylor, 26, and team captain Roger Byrne, 28. Technical difficulties had caused two take-off attempts to be aborted; on the third attempt, a build-up of slush on the runway prevented the plane from reaching take-off velocity. February 6, 1958: Football in mourning after Busby Babes die in Munich air disaster Seven members of the Manchester United team known as the Busby Babes were among 21 people killed when their plane crashed on take-off. Geoff Bent Roger Byrne Eddie Colman Twenty-three people on board the Elizabethan charter aircraft G-ALZU lost their lives in the Munich air crash on February 6, 1958. On February 17, one of the survivors of the Munich Air Disaster Harry Gregg, died at the age of 87. Players who died. There were 21 survivors.By clicking on each of the links below you can find out more information about each person, including, where available, where they are buried. United completed the season with a rebuilt side under assistant manager Jimmy Murphy, as Busby recuperated. The young United team had become champions of England in 1956 and again in 1957, and were in second place, six points behind Wolves, at the time of the crash with 14 games left to play that season.

The footballing world is reeling from the loss of some of its most talented young players - known as the Busby Babes. At that point, Duncan Edwards sent a telegram to his landlady in Manchester saying that all flights had been cancelled. Remarkably they reached the FA Cup Final, but a team featuring just four crash survivors was beaten 2-0 by Bolton Wanderers at Wembley. 1958: United players killed in air disaster. As the plane made its way down the runway on its final journey, Liam ‘Billy’ Whelan – a devout Catholic - is said to have cried out: “If this is death, then I’m ready for it.”. At the same ground 10 years later, Busby realised his dream when Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup (below). The team, nicknamed the Busby Babes after manager Matt Busby, had won back-to-back First Division titles in the previous two seasons and was returning from a 3-3 draw with Red Star Belgrade which ensured United’s passage into the European Cup semi-finals for the second year running. [March 12, 1950: Llandow air disaster - 80 killed as rugby fans’ plane crashes in Wales], [July 30, 1966: England win the World Cup at Wembley]. One of the journalists that died was Frank Swift of the News of the World. United’s star player, England international Duncan Edwards, would succumb to his severe injuries 15 days later. Eight Manchester United players lost their lives as a result of the Munich air disaster on February 6, 1958. Three of United’s backroom staff also perished in the crash, along with eight journalists, two crew members and two other passengers. Swift was a former goalkeeper for Manchester City, and had played for England 19 times. Who died in the Munich air disaster?

7 February 1958: Seven of United's players killed: Matt Busby seriously hurt in Munich air crash

Seven Manchester United footballers are among 21 dead after an air crash in Munich. Gregg is remembered for hs role in rescuing other passengers from the burning plane that day. Between the plane’s aborted second and disastrous third take-off attempts, heavy snow had begun to fall. Seven members of the Manchester United team known as the Busby Babes were among 21 people killed when their plane crashed on take-off. Taylor, Jones, Colman and Edwards all changed seats, moving to the rear of the plane in the belief that they would be safer there if a crash occurred before take-off. After two failed take-off attempts, the players were already nervous when they re-boarded the plane.



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