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.
Britannian Fields – A Look into the Future and a Shame of the Present
Krishnendu Sanyal writes about St George’s Park national football centre, opened by the English Football Association in the hope of restructuring English football and the John Terry-Ashley Cole soap opera that has brought shame to English football
A step towards the future
The English national team, if you believe a few, are perennial underachievers and some will say they never even had the setup to be a top international team. The 1966 World Cup at home, was their last success on the international stage and they played some good football in Euro 1996, again held at home. Other than that, they have been a team who play mediocre football and get knocked out on quarter-final and semi-final stages of the big tournaments on penalties (mostly against Germany). The opening of St George’s Park (SGP) national football centre at Burton, on October 9, is a step in the right direction taken by the Football Association to wake English football up from its morbid state.
The national football centre was first discussed by the FA in 1975 and the land purchased in 2001 to build this state-of-the-art facility that the FA hopes, will bring out a new generation of English footballers who can bring success to a long suffering national team.
Roy Hodgson, the current England manager, believes that the FA had its priorities wrong way round in concentration of the £757m revamp of the Wembley stadium before the national football centre. England needed a structure for its game before the New Wembley. Certainly, history will remark that the revamp of the national stadium sucked time, resources and energy of the FA, which could have been better utilised for the national football centre.
The facilities at SGP are top-notch, including the best sports medicine and science centre in England, 12 full-sized pitches including one indoor, two Hilton hotels with 228 rooms between them, offices of the LMA (League Managers’ Association), the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) among others. Although, the FA admits that the hard work begins now and they need to make sure that it doesn’t become drainage of funds as the Wembley had. For that, they need to make sure that they maintain a steady flow of its own elite coaches but also other sports, who wish to use these facilities.
The FA has finally set up a facility that is consistent with their Future Game rhetoric.
To make this new and exciting adventure work, FA needs full co-operation from some hostile factions. The FA’s new mantra of coaching the coaches will need to be tailored with the professional game’s elite player performance plan, under which the biggest clubs have invested millions into their own facilities to attract the best young players from around the British Isles.
Although the FA is gleaming with joy in finally getting the facility out, they know that the facility’s effects on the broader English game will be felt in around a decade. While blowing the trumpet, the FA is playing for time. A cradle for English Football is ready, let us see what the future holds.
Terry and Cole have shamed England and Chelsea
Most public or private corporations would sack a leading figure who was found guilty of racism by an independent commission board as it brings unwanted filth on the corporation itself.
John Terry was acquitted in a criminal trial at the Westminster magistrate’s court but the judge remarked that Terry’s defence was unlikely but he doesn’t have enough evidence for criminal conviction. The independent commission set up by the FA found him guilty of using racial language against a fellow professional. They concluded that Terry’s defence (that he was repeating Anton Ferdinand’s words) was “improbable, implausible and contrived“. They said there was “no credible evidence” for Terry’s defence.
Suppose, a CEO of a big corporation was found guilty of saying, “You f***ing black c**t … f***ing knobhead!” to a competitor in public, by an independent commission, what will the corporation do?
They will sack him.
Chelsea has other questions to answer too. The independent commission detailed how Ashley Cole’s evidence evolved over time to further support Terry’s defence. The FA is accusing Cole (Terry’s principle witness) of lying in front of a commission. In his first statement to the FA, Cole had made no mention of the fact that he had heard Ferdinand using the word “black”. In a revised statement, he had the word inserted to corroborate with Terry’s defence.
The club secretary, David Barnard, facilitated Ashley Cole’s change of evidence. The commission remarked that they had “very real concerns” on Barnard’s evidence and said that it was “materially defective”. This is a damning indictment of the club secretary. What would Chelsea do? What would any big corporation do?