Aftermath of Munich air disaster: In pictures

The deaths, survivors and aftermath of Munich air disaster in pictures, that killed 23 individuals in including eight a plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed on February 6 1958.

The Munich air disaster occurred on 6 February 1958 when British European Airways flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport, West Germany. The disaster killed 23 individuals including 8 players of Manchester United, who were returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, against Red Star Belgrade. The match was drawn 3–3 at the Partizan Stadion but it was enough to send United to the semi-finals of the prestigious European Cup.

Seven of Manchester United’s players died immediately during the fateful crash (Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan), and their prolific prodigy Duncan Edwards died from his injuries on 21 February at the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich after 15 days of battle. Right winger Johnny Berry and versatile center-half Jackie Blanchflower were both injured so severely that they never played again. United’s manager Sir Matt Busby was in the flight as well and was seriously injured and had to stay in hospital for more than two months after the crash.

After the crash, United only won one league game that shattered title challenge and they eventually fell to ninth place in the league. In the European Cup semi-finals, they managed to beat Milan at Old Trafford but were demolished 4–0 at the San Siro. Sir Matt Busby, who survived the crash, had returned later and continued his managerial duties the next season (1958–59), and eventually ten years later won the European Cup, beating Benfica in 1968. Sir Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes were the only two crash survivors who lined up in that team.

“I thought, ‘Why me? Why am I here with nothing happened to me other than a little gash on the head’ and all these other friends had been killed? – Sir Bobby Charlton

The golden generation, managed by legendary Matt Busby, who were fondly known as the Busby babes will never be forgotten.

6th February 1958, The snow covered fuselage, part of the wreckage of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU 'Lord Burghley' after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
6th February 1958, The snow covered fuselage, part of the wreckage of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU ‘Lord Burghley’ after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

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Rescue workers pictured in a snowstorm at the wreckage of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU 'Lord Burghley' after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Rescue workers pictured in a snowstorm at the wreckage of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU ‘Lord Burghley’ after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
The interior of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU "Lord Burghley" after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers (Photo: Getty)
The interior of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU “Lord Burghley” after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers (Photo: Getty)
The wreckage of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU "Lord Burghley" after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers, about to be removed with the help of a crane (Photo: Getty)
The wreckage of the B,E,A, Elizabethan airliner G-ALZU “Lord Burghley” after the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, 8 being Manchester United footballers, about to be removed with the help of a crane (Photo: Getty)
Harry Gregg (left) and Bill Foulkes (right) at the crash site
Harry Gregg (left) and Bill Foulkes (right) at the crash site. Harry Gregg, who was the goal-keeper of United team, gained his consciousness after the crash and helped to save lives of few passengers including Vera Lukić, the wife of a Yugoslavian diplomat who was pregnant with her son, and her baby daughter, Vesna.
Ray Wood lays injured in hospital
Ray Wood lays injured in hospital
Captain Ken Rayment lies injured in hospital in Munich. Captain Rayment was co-pilot on the the ill-fated British airliner carrying the Manchester United football team
Captain Ken Rayment lies injured in hospital in Munich. Captain Rayment was co-pilot on the the ill-fated British airliner carrying the Manchester United football team
Sir Matt Busby lying in an oxygen tent in Munich Hospital (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)
Sir Matt Busby lying in an oxygen tent in Munich Hospital (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)
Supporters of Manchester United gather around the Old Trafford offices to hear news of the plane crash in Munich which killed 21.
Supporters of Manchester United gather around the Old Trafford offices to hear news of the plane crash in Munich which killed 21.
Bobby Charlton lays in hospital injured February 1958 who was injured in the Munich Air Disaster 19582 of 19
Bobby Charlton lays in hospital injured February 1958 who was injured in the Munich Air Disaster 1958.
Sir Bobby Charlton with Ken Morgan, who were friends as they grew up together at Manchester United, sharing light mood in the hospital.
Sir Bobby Charlton with Ken Morgan, who were friends as they grew up together at Manchester United, sharing light mood in the hospital.

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Duncan Edwards and John Berry in hospital beds
Duncan Edwards and John Berry in hospital beds
Manchester United's Kenny Morgans recovering in hospital after being injured in the Munich Air Disaster (Photo: Getty)
Manchester United’s Kenny Morgans recovering in hospital after being injured in the Munich Air Disaster (Photo: Getty)
Manchester United's Dennis Viollet and captain Bill Foulkes talk in a Munich hospital after the Munich aircrash
Manchester United’s Dennis Viollet and captain Bill Foulkes talk in a Munich hospital after the Munich aircrash

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Sir Matt Busby leaves Munich Hospital after the air disaster involving the Manchester United team - Professor Maurer says goodbye
Sir Matt Busby leaves Munich Hospital after the air disaster involving the Manchester United team – Professor Maurer says goodbye
Left: Manchester United manager Matt Busby smiles as he arrives in Manchester today from Munich. Top Right: Survivors Foulkes and Harry Gregg talk to journalists after the Munich air disaster. Bottom Right: Sir Bobby Charlton being treated.
Left: Manchester United manager Matt Busby smiles as he arrives in Manchester today from Munich. Top Right: Survivors Foulkes and Harry Gregg talk to journalists after the Munich air disaster. Bottom Right: Sir Bobby Charlton being treated.
11th February 1958, The B,E,A, aircraft carrying the coffins of the victims of the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, eight being Manchester United footballers, about to leave Munich Airport to return to England as a West German police guard of honour salute. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images
11th February 1958, The B,E,A, aircraft carrying the coffins of the victims of the crash at Munich in which 23 people died, eight being Manchester United footballers, about to leave Munich Airport to return to England as a West German police guard of honour salute. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images
After being discharged from hospital, Sir Matt Busby almost had given up football entirely, until he was told by his wife, Jean, "You know Matt, the lads would have wanted you to carry on."
After being discharged from hospital, Sir Matt Busby almost had given up football entirely and went into depression, until he was told by his wife, Jean, “You know Matt, the lads would have wanted you to carry on.”
A wreath is carried aboard the aeroplane transporting the body of Manchester United player Duncan Edwards from Munich to Manchester (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)
A wreath is carried aboard the aeroplane transporting the body of Manchester United player Duncan Edwards from Munich to Manchester (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)
Coffins of the victims returning to Manchester
Coffins of the victims returning to Manchester

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Mourners standing in silence as the coffin of Manchester United captain Roger Byrne is taken on its last journey to the crematorium.
Mourners standing in silence as the coffin of Manchester United captain Roger Byrne is taken on its last journey to the crematorium.
Gladstone Edwards (left) and Len Morgans, the fathers of two Manchester United players injured in the Munich air crash. They are preparing to travel to Germany to visit their sons (Duncan Edwards and Ken Morgans) in hospital. Duncan Edwards died as a result of his injuries on the 21 February 1958. Ken Morgans was the youngest survivor.
Gladstone Edwards (left) and Len Morgans, the fathers of two Manchester United players injured in the Munich air crash. They are preparing to travel to Germany to visit their sons (Duncan Edwards and Ken Morgans) in hospital. Duncan Edwards died as a result of his injuries on the 21 February 1958. Ken Morgans was the youngest survivor.
Manchester United Outside right Ken Morgans pictured with his fiancee Stephanie Lloyd driving away from Liverpool Street Station after returning from Munich.
Manchester United Outside right Ken Morgans pictured with his fiancee Stephanie Lloyd driving away from Liverpool Street Station after returning from Munich.
Manchester United in training, the first training session after the Munich air crash
Manchester United in training, the first training session after the Munich air crash
Captain James Thain, the pilot of the Munich air crash, amidst the crowds at Craven Cottage in London to watch Manchester United play Fulham, 7th September 1964. This is the first time he has watched Manchester United play since the accident. Twenty-three people died, including several members of the Manchester United football team, after their aircraft crashed on take-off from Munich-Riem Airport in Munich in 1958. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Captain James Thain, the pilot of the Munich air crash, amidst the crowds at Craven Cottage in London to watch Manchester United play Fulham, 7th September 1964. This is the first time he has watched Manchester United play since the accident. Twenty-three people died, including several members of the Manchester United football team, after their aircraft crashed on take-off from Munich-Riem Airport in Munich in 1958. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Photographs: The photographs are not owned by Goalden Times and we do not claim ownership of these images by any means. All the images are sole property of the respective owners. A huge thanks to The Mirror, Manchester Evening News, Huffingtonpost Uk, The Irish Times and Flashbak for the brilliant archive.