lyrics to The Flowers of Manchester
One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
Eight great football stalwarts conceded victory,
Eight men who will never play again who met destruction there,
The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester
Matt Busby's boys were flying, returning from Belgrade,
This great United family, all masters of their trade,
The Pilot of the aircraft, the skipper Captain Thain,
Three times they tried to take off and twice turned back again.
The third time down the runaway disaster followed close,
There was a slush upon that runaway and the aircraft never rose,
It ploughed into the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned.
And eight of the team were killed as the blazing wreckage burned.
Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor who were capped for England's side.
And Ireland's Billy Whelan and England's Geoff Bent died,
Mark Jones and Eddie Colman, and David Pegg also,
They all lost their lives as it ploughed on through the snow.
Big Duncan he went to, with an injury to his frame,
And Ireland's brave Jack Blanchflower will never play again,
The great Sir Matt Busby lay there, the father of his team
Three long months passed by before he walked again.
The trainer, coach and secretary, and a member of the crew,
Also eight sporting journalists who with United flew,
and one of them Big Swifty, who we'll ne'er forget,
the finest English 'keeper that ever graced the net.
Oh, England's finest football team its record truly great,
its proud successes mocked by a cruel turn of fate.
Eight men will never play again, who met destruction there,
the flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester.....The End
On 6th February 1958 the airliner carrying players and backroom staff of Manchester United, plus a number of journalists and supporters, crashed in a blizzard on its third attempt to take off from Munich airport. United were returning from Belgrade where they had just beaten Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup and had stopped off at Munich for re-fuelling. Twenty-three of the forty-four passengers on board the aircraft lost their lives.
Dead Manchester United players
Duncan Edwards (survived the crash but died in hospital 15 days later)
Liam 'Billy' Whelan
Who Also Died
Walter Crickmer Club secretary who was in charge of the side during the war.
Bert Whalley Chief Coach. Former left-half at Old Trafford. With United 25 years and also responsible for youth development.
Tom Curry Trainer. Joined United in mid-30s and regarded by Matt Busby as "the best trainer in Britain.''
Alf Clarke Journalist - Manchester Evening Chronicle
Don Davies Journalist - Manchester Guardian
George Follows Journalist - Daily Herald
Tom Jackson Journalist - Manchester Evening News
Archie Ledbrooke Journalist - Daily Mirror
Henry Rose Journalist - Daily Express
Eric Thompson Journalist - Daily Mail
Frank Swift Journalist - News of the World - Frank Swift was also one of Manchester City's greatest-ever players.
Capt Kenneth Rayment Co-Pilot
Bela Miklos Travel Agent
Willie Satinoff Supporter
Tom Cable Steward
Frank Taylor Journalist
Peter Howard Photographer
Ted Ellyard Photographer
Mrs Vera Lukic and baby daughter Venona Passengers (rescued by goalkeeper Harry Gregg)
Mrs Miklos Wife of Bela Miklos, the travel agent who arranged the trip and died in the crash
Mr N Tomasevic Passenger
James Thain Captain
Rosemary Cheverton Stewardess
Margaret Bellis Stewardess
George (Bill) Rodgers Radio officer