Looking back now, from the perspective of 50 years since the eight Manchester United players and 15 other people died in the slush and horror off the runway at Munich, it can seem surprising that the whole nation was so deeply moved by the disaster. The country had, after all, not long emerged from six years of war in which millions had been killed, lives and homes devastated. Yet when the news came on Thursday, February 6, 1958, the clocks did not stop just at Old Trafford. People who lived in Manchester then have always recalled the ashen silence that settled over the city. Across Britain, even around Europe, sorrow struck. Yet that, in a way, explains the very attraction of the “Busby Babes”. Young and brilliantly talented, the football they played was helping to transport a nation away from thoughts of war into a more colourful, hopeful future. Most of them had been the best schoolboy players around the country, shrewdly recruited by Matt Busby in his first management job, then coached to professional polish by his assistant, Jimmy Murphy. The Babes had filled United’s first team since Busby famously played seven of them in a First Division match… Read full this story
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