Manchester stands still in memory of the Busby Babes 60 years after the fatal Munich Air Disaster

  • 60th anniversary of the tragic Munich Air Disaster: 6 February 1958

  • Manchester United fans hold tribute to remember those who passed away

  • Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg are last two survivors of the Munich Air Disaster

  • Legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson is performing a reading during the ceremony

Sixty years have passed since the unexpected tragedy of the Munich Air Disaster claimed the lives of 23 players and staff.

Manchester and the UK was shook to the core when the lives of these extraordinary footballers lost their lives on 6 February 1958.

To commemorate the deaths of many of the The Busby Babes, the name given to the Manchester United squad after Sir Matt Busby, manager at the time, injected the squad with many players from the youth system.

Manchester United is holding a ceremony outside the lower east stand underneath the memorial plaque of the Munich disaster, ahead of a minute’s silence at 3.04pm, marking the time of the fatal crash.

Only two survivors of the catastrophe remain, Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg, with both paying their respects today.

Manchester United Supporters Club Sligo told NQ: “The tears in his (Bobby Charlton) eyes nearly 60 years on brings the hurt and pain home.”

The crash brought a devastating blow to the city. Many of the players who passed away came through Manchester United’s youth system and players such as Roger Byrne grew up on the streets of Gorton.

Nora Milarvie, 80, whose late husband attended both United and City home matches during the 50s and 60s, recalls that the awful news “stung.” Her husband, Bob, said he was “so upset” as many of the players were “a joy to watch”.

With both Manchester clubs holding a palpable animosity in recent years, the rival clubs suspended their rivalry to pay respects.

Both Twitter accounts of the clubs changed their profile pictures to the clock commemorating the time of the crash as well as releasing the hashtag ‘A CityUnited’ – something Manchester City and United released following the Manchester Attack of May last year.

Lifelong United fan, Steve Hopwood, 54, said that the tribute felt “very personal” as he “grew up hearing about it”.

He added that the recovery from their “decimated youthful squad to then becoming European Cup champions only 10 years later in 1968,” with many of the same players who survived the crash, “was something of a romantic story”.