It is reported today that Manchester Citeh’s official supporters club has written to Manchester United to try and get United to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster with a minutes applause rather than a minutes silence. To be fair to the supporters club, they are trying to cover up the fact that there will be a number of idiots singing Munich songs and making noise during the anticipated 1 minute silence. Citeh lost a former player of their own, goalkeeper Frank Swift who was covering the game in Belgrade for the Manchester Evening News, and will want to pay their respects to a number of gifted footballers who had their lives cut short and died for Manchester United. It is a tragedy that we never saw Duncan Edwards push on and become the best player in the world, the powerhouse that was Tommy Taylor score even more goals for the babes and Salford born lad Eddie Coleman dazzle the league with his famous body swerve.
Did I ever see the babes play live? No. Do I know what the babes represent? Yes, they represent everything that Manchester United stands for, believing in youth, believing that you can push yourself even further (by playing in the European Cup against strong opposition from back home) and believing that if you work hard you can achieve true greatness. It is a tragedy that Old Trafford never saw the like of Edwards, Pegg, Taylor and Colman progress even further and challenge Real Madrid (United lost 5-3 in an epic semi final over two legs in 1957 – this against a Alfredo led Real Madrid against a United side with an average age of just 22).
Manchester United have to hold a 1 minutes silence on February 10th to mark this tragic anniversary. I believe that for certain events, a minutes applause is appropriate and needed. To celebrate the life and triumph of a footballer like George Best was appropriate and welcomed I feel by every football fan. But this group of players lost their lives before they had even begun and although achieved only a fraction of what their potential and ability deserved to achieve they will always remain in our hearts and thoughts and that is why I feel there needs to be a minutes silence.
As i’ve been writing this it’s been announced that United will have a one minute silence rather than the one minute applause.