Returning from a European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade the plane carrying Manchester United’s Busby Babes stopped at Munich airport to refuel. On its third attempt to take-off in atrocious weather conditions the plane veered off the runway, crashed and burst into flames. 21 people died, 8 members of the legendary team among them (including Duncan Edwards), and Sir Matt Busby was rushed to hospital in critical condition. The greatest British football team of their generation was destroyed.
Munich was a defining moment not only for Manchester United but was one of those historic days, such as the death of JFK, when everyone alive at the time can remember where they were when they heard the terrible news.
Frank Taylor was the only journalist on the plane that night to survive and during his hospitalization wrote this book, revising it extensively 25 years later to include all the subsequent knowledge about the crash.
Two surviving members of the Manchester United players on the flight, Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes, would recover to play in Manchester United’s European Cup victory in 1968. Fifty years afterwards Duncan Edwards is still remembered as having the potential to have been England’s greatest player.
“Much has been written about February 6, 1958… Frank Taylor was the only journalist to survive, and here is his eye-witness account of the crash and its appalling aftermath… a fitting memorial to perhaps the finest United team ever” – ‘Scotland on Sunday’
“People also have to understand what a great team it was and what English football lost that night.” – Sir Bobby Charlton