Friday, February 08, 2008

The Munich Air Disaster

This past Teusday, March 6, 2008, marked the 50th Anniversary of the Munich Air Disater.

British European Airways Flight 609 crashed while trying to take-off from a slushy runway in Munich, West Germany. The Manchester United football (soccer) team and a group of their fans and journalists were on board, and 23 of the 44 passengers died in the crash:

Geoff Bent - player
Roger Byrne - player
Eddie Colman - player
Duncan Edwards - player
Mark Jones - player
David Pegg - player
Tommy Taylor - player
Liam 'Billy' Whelan - player
Walter Crickmer - Club Secretary
Bert Whalley - Chief Coach
Tom Curry - Trainer
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 (also former England and Manchester City goalkeeper)
Captain Kenneth "Ken" Rayment - British co-pilot
Bela Miklos - travel agent
Willie Satinoff - supporter, racecourse owner and close friend of Matt Busby
Tom Cable - steward

This coming Sunday, during a match between Manchester United and cross-town rivals Manchester City, the home team has asked that there be a minute of silence in rememberance.

This is a bad plan. The Premier League has made a blunder by scheduling such a fierce and passionate rivalry on the weekend of this anniversary, because it takes only on idiot to disgrace the event.

Even I, a diehard United hater, believe that the solemnity of this occasion should be respected, but it's clear that someone wasn't paying attention when they built this year's schedule.

This past Wednesday's international match between England and Switzerland included such a minute of silence, and it was not honored by everyone in the stadium.

There is only one event to which I can compare this to in the United States. College football fans may remember that on November 14, 1970, Southern Airways Flight 932, out of Kinston, North Carolina, crashed en route to Ceredo, West Virginia, killing 37 players of the Marshall University football team, along with the coaching staff, team boosters, and others. Rivals of the Marshall Thundering Herd were respectful and generous the following year, and rememberances of the incident are treated with respect throughout that region.

Let's hope that the Munich rememberance at Old Trafford this Sunday is given the respect it deserves.

Thanks to Liz for the list of those who perished.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Playing For Uncle Sam
David Tossell

No comments: