April 18, 2024

Accident Involving “Beebies Babies”

2 min read

On this day in 1958, the Munich air disaster occurred, in which eight Manchester United players tragically died in a plane crash while returning from a European Cup quarter-final match against Red Star Belgrade in Belgrade on February 6th. The tragedy took the lives of 23 passengers when the “Elizabethan” aircraft of the British company “BEA” crashed upon takeoff from the Munich airport.

Among the victims were seven Manchester United footballers: captain Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor, Geoff Bent, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, David Pegg, and Billy Whelan. Additionally, 21-year-old Duncan Edwards, one of the most talented players in the history of “The Three Lions”, succumbed to his injuries two weeks later.

Edwards was remembered as the soul and driving force of the team, fondly referred to as “Busby Babes” in legend. The young and super-talented team, carefully selected and led by the legendary Matt Busby, was returning from Belgrade, where they had played the second leg of the European Cup quarter-final against Red Star Belgrade the day before.

Having won the first leg 2-1, the unforgettable football spectacle at the JNA Stadium ended in a 3-3 draw, securing Manchester United’s place in the next round of the competition. The players from both teams engaged in a fierce battle on the field, followed by a heartwarming camaraderie that continued into the evening, first at the “Majestic” hotel and then in Skadarlija.

Doctor Aca Obradović enthusiastically shared his vision with the English visitors about the future, new stadium for Red Star Belgrade, and took the opportunity to invite Manchester United to play a match at the opening of the magnificent new venue. The secretary of the club from “Old Trafford”, Mr. Crikner, pledged that United would honor that day, and Matt Busby himself, impressed by the warm reception from the hosts, told Red Star Belgrade’s president Blagojević that the trip to Belgrade had been full of surprises for Manchester United.

However, fate took a cruel turn the next day on February 6th at 3:04 pm when the plane crashed in Munich, claiming the lives of the talented football team, sending shockwaves across the planet.

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