Saturday, 2 February 2008
The shocking Munich air disaster which took the lives of seven of Matt Busby's iconic Manchester United team (and many more) on 6 February 1958, happened just weeks before I was born and indissolubly shaped my earliest footballing memories. Indeed my first true 'night of passion' with the game was United's European Cup Final victory over Benfica ten years later. The following year my early dalliance with Man U, who in those days were loved or respected rather than despised or hated, gave way to a life-long love for mighty Dumbarton. But the Munich tragedy was etched into my psyche, the necessary shadow on the joy of the Beautiful Game - an event that puts sporting endeavour in true human perspective. There's a web book of tribute on Munich58.co.uk, profiles of the Busby Babes, a Guardian feature on the disaster, and much more online. A time to remember, undoubtedly. I really hope that the Manchester derby next week can put tribalism aside in honour of both the living and the dead of 1958.