Millennium Post

Hodgson mourns Munich disaster victims

England manager Roy Hodgson took time out from preparing his side to face Brazil in a Wembley friendly on Wednesday to remember the victims of the Munich air disaster.

Wednesday marked the 55th anniversary of the 1958 tragedy, which saw 23 killed when an airplane carrying Manchester United back from a European Cup tie in Belgrade crashed on take-off following a refuelling stop in Munich.

Amongst those killed were eight players, including Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor, a trio tipped for glittering careers, while United manager Matt Busby and England great Bobby Charlton survived.

For Hodgson, only a schoolboy at the time, the crash left a vivid impression.

‘I remember that night extremely well,’ said Hodgson. ‘I remember sitting at home as an 11-year-old and hearing the news and being absolutely devastated.

‘So many great players, and a footballing generation in Manchester lost their lives. It is a sobering thought but it is important to remember those things.’

Alex Ferguson, the current United manager, arrived at Old Trafford in 1986 and became close to fellow Scottish manager Busby.

‘I’ve been affected by it since I was a young boy,’ Ferguson told the BBC. ‘For many people it is long forgotten but for someone like me, who remembers the day, you won’t forget it.

‘It was a fantastic group of young men who were destined to be great.’
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