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Manchester United pay anniversary tribute to victims of Munich disaster

Survivor Sir Bobby Charlton was among those in attendance.

Flowers and momentos are left outside Old Trafford stadium during a ceremony to commemorate the victims of a plane crash 60 years ago, in Munich, Germany when eight players and three team members of English football club Manchester United were killed, on February 6, 2018 in Manchester, north west England.
Flowers and momentos are left outside Old Trafford stadium during a ceremony to commemorate the victims of a plane crash 60 years ago, in Munich, Germany when eight players and three team members of English football club Manchester United were killed, on February 6, 2018 in Manchester, north west England.
Flowers and momentos are left outside Old Trafford stadium during a ceremony to commemorate the victims of a plane crash 60 years ago, in Munich, Germany when eight players and three team members of English football club Manchester United were killed, on February 6, 2018 in Manchester, north west England. The Munich air crash that cruelly cut down Manchester United's "Busby Babes" in their prime has enormous significance for the club's players and fans even 60 years on from that fateful day. The events of February 6, 1958 are woven into the fabric of the club, who recovered to become the first English team to lift the European Cup 10 years later. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Flowers and team pictures are left outside Old Trafford stadium during a ceremony to commemorate the victims of a plane crash 60 years ago, in Munich, Germany when eight players and three team members of English football club Manchester United were killed, on February 6, 2018 in Manchester, north west England. The Munich air crash that cruelly cut down Manchester United's "Busby Babes" in their prime has enormous significance for the club's players and fans even 60 years on from that fateful day. The events of February 6, 1958 are woven into the fabric of the club, who recovered to become the first English team to lift the European Cup 10 years later. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Flowers and momentos are left outside Old Trafford stadium during a ceremony to commemorate the victims of a plane crash 60 years ago, in Munich, Germany when eight players and three team members of English football club Manchester United were killed, on February 6, 2018 in Manchester, north west England. The Munich air crash that cruelly cut down Manchester United's "Busby Babes" in their prime has enormous significance for the club's players and fans even 60 years on from that fateful day. The events of February 6, 1958 are woven into the fabric of the club, who recovered to become the first English team to lift the European Cup 10 years later. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Supporters of Manchester United attend a memorial service commemorating the Munich air disaster of February 6, 1958, where 23 people including 8 members of the Manchester United football team lost their lives, on February 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Members of FC Bayern Muenchen, the city of Munich and of Manchester United attend a memorial service commemorating the Munich air disaster of February 6, 1958, where 23 people including 8 members of the Manchester United football team lost their lives, on February 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Uli Hoeness (l), President of FC Bayern Muenchen and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of FC Bayern Muenchen attend a memorial service commemorating the Munich air disaster of February 6, 1958, where 23 people including 8 members of the Manchester United football team lost their lives, on February 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Flowers lie in front of a memorial stone commemorating the Munich air disaster of 6th February 1958, as 23 people including 8 members of the Manchester United football team lost their lives on February 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
File photo dated 07-02-1958 of the wrecked BAE Elizabethan airliner that crashed at Munich Airport while bringing home members of the Manchester United football team from a European Cup match. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 5, 2018. Eight Manchester United players lost their lives as a result of the Munich air disaster on February 6, 1958. A further 15 club officials and journalists were also killed in the tragedy. See PA story SOCCER Munich Victims. Photo credit should read PA Images/PA Wire.
File photo dated 06-02-1958 of The Munich air crash involving the Manchester United team, who were on a European Cup visit to Belgrade. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 5, 2018. Eight Manchester United players lost their lives as a result of the Munich air disaster on February 6, 1958. A further 15 club officials and journalists were also killed in the tragedy. See PA story SOCCER Munich Victims. Photo credit should read PA Photos/PA Wire.
File photo dated 06-02-1958 of The BEA Elizabethan airliner, called "Lord Burghley", which crashed on taking-off from Munich Airport, Germany, while bringing the Manchester United team home from their European Cup match in Belgrade. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 5, 2018. Eight Manchester United players lost their lives as a result of the Munich air disaster on February 6, 1958. A further 15 club officials and journalists were also killed in the tragedy. See PA story SOCCER Munich Victims. Photo credit should read PA Images/PA Wire.
Harry is interviewed after the crash
NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE Handout photo supplied by Manchester United via Getty Images of Sir Bobby Charlton (L) and Harry Gregg attending the memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster at Old Trafford in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday February 6, 2008. Twenty-three people, including eight players, the Busby Babes, along with three club officials were killed when their plane, returning from a European Cup clash, crashed on an icy runway in Munich 50 years ago today. See PA story SPORT Munich. Photo credit should read: John Peters/Manchester United/PA Wire
File photo dated 29-05-1968 of Manchester United's David Sadler (left) and George Best celebrate winning the European Cup. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday February 5, 2018. The images are etched in the memory. George Best dribbling the ball around the goalkeeper and sliding the ball into the net. See PA story SOCCER Munich European Cup. Photo credit should read PA Photos/PA Wire.
File photo dated 06/02/1958 of members of the Manchester United football team board the BEA Elizabethan, before a European Cup match in Belgrade. Several team members died when the plane crashed on take-off from Munich airport, on the return journey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday February 3 2008. Thursday January 17, 2008. Sir Matt Busby's young Manchester United team were heralded as being one of the greatest ever, but on February 6, 1958 they perished in the Munich air disaster. Twenty three of the 44 passengers onboard the Elizabethan charter aircraft G-ALZU died, including eight players and eight sports journalists. PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 6: (SALES OUT) In this handout image supplied by Manchester United, Harry Gregg of Manchester United speaks during the memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster at Old Trafford on February 6 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
Harry Gregg, who survived the Manchester United Munich Air Disaster, at his Co Londonderry home in Northern Ireland. Wednesday January 30 2008. Sir Matt Busby's young Manchester United team were heralded as being one of the greatest ever, but on February 6, 1958 they perished in the Munich air disaster. Twenty three of the 44 passengers onboard the Elizabethan charter aircraft G-ALZU died, including eight players and eight sports journalists.
A view of the Order of service for the 60 Years Since The Munich Air Disaster commemorative ceremony at Old Trafford in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Simon Peach/PA Wire.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 6: (SALES OUT) In this handout image supplied by Manchester United, Sir Bobby Charlton (3rd R), Harry Gregg (2nd R) and Albert Scanlon of Manchester United attend the memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, at Old Trafford on February 6 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Supporters of Manchester United hug near the site where a plane carrying the team of Manchester crashed in 1958 on February 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: 'Serenity' a recently painted mural in tribute to the suffragette movement and all women who stand defiant in the face of injustice adorns a wall on February 6, 2018 in Manchester, England. The work by stencil artist duo SNIK, in Manchester's northern quarter is part of the Cities of Hope project that uses the Arts to inspire action on social issues. On February 6, 1918, the Representation of People Act was passed which allowed women to vote for the first time in the United Kingdom. 2018 marks 100 years since the Women's suffrage movement won the right to vote, led by Emmeline Pankhurst (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Physician Robert Lindenmueller (l-r), nurse Katharina Koppe, nurse Elisabeth Weber and physician Peter Maurer attend a memorial service commemorating the Munich air disaster of February 6, 1958, where 23 people including 8 members of the Manchester United football team lost their lives, on February 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. The four worked at the hospital where the victims where taken to, on the day of the Munich Air Crash and tended to the victims. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Sir Bobby Charlton (3rd R), Harry Gregg (2nd R) and Albert Scanlon of Manchester United attend the memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, at Old Trafford on February 6 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United stars past and present stood silent at Old Trafford to mark the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

At 3.04pm on February 6, 1958, slush on the runway in Germany prevented United’s plane from reaching take-off speed and led to a crash that killed 23 people.

Eight first-team players and three long-serving members of staff were among those to die as United made their way back from a European Cup match at Red Star Belgrade.

Eight journalists, the co-pilot, cabin steward, travel agent and a United supporter were also killed in the crash that only 21 people survived.

Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg were among the survivors and both men attended Tuesday’s emotional Old Trafford occasion, along with families of the players, staff, media and friends.

More than 4,500 supporters joined them in the East Stand, as former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, director Michael Edelson and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward gave readings.

The trio wore commemorative ties featuring names of those who perished in Munich.

United manager Jose Mourinho and captain Michael Carrick laid wreaths at the service which was also attended by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, UEFA vice-president Fernando Gomes, Manchester City ambassador Mike Summerbee and Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish.

The ceremony, led by club chaplain Rev John Boyers, saw Old Trafford fall silent at 3.04pm, before Pete Martin’s rendition of The Flowers of Manchester.

Former goalkeeper Gregg, who spent time at the United training ground earlier in the day, sung along with Abide With Me as the ceremony came to a close.

Events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the disaster were also held in Munich and Belgrade.

Around 2,000 fans gathered in Germany for a fan-organised ceremony attended by club ambassador Denis Irwin and senior United executives.

Some surviving doctors and nurses involved in the treatment of manager Sir Matt Busby and his team were also in attendance, with United supporters donating art to the hospital in an expression of gratitude for the treatment they provided.

Nicky Butt’s under-19 team, meanwhile, joined club officials as a minute’s silence was observed at Partizan Stadium in Belgrade – the venue for the European Cup quarter-final between Red Star and United.

The Under-19s, who play FK Brodarac in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday, were due to visit the British Embassy in Belgrade along with officials from Red Star.

Vladica Popovic played for Red Star against United in 1958 and was due to be at a reception hosted in the same hotel that Busby and his side used 60 years ago.

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