a good reason to remember Munich
Each time a significant anniversary of the Munich air disaster comes round those of us lucky enough to be in a position to write about football and its attendant matters are assailed by the same nagging doubts. Is it only football that makes this particular loss of life so resonant? Why the grim fascination with a 60-year-old accident when every day brings fresh news of equally terrible events? There have been worse air crashes involving football teams before and since Munich, yet the tragedy that struck Manchester United on a wintry night in Bavaria is always perceived as the most poignant. While this may not be entirely fair, just like the resentment felt in some quarters as Matt Busby’s recovering team monopolised national sympathy and gained many new supporters following their ghastly ordeal, the overriding lesson of February 1958 was that life is not fair. The distinguishing feature of Munich was possibly not football anyway, though sport will Authentic Kent Tekulve Jersey always magnify the sense of loss when youthful promise is cut cruelly short. Because this was a take-off failure rather than a fall from the sky there were survivors, rare in an aviation disaster. The handy headline that a team had died told only half of the truth. The harsher fact is that the other half of the team lived, and then had to face the gruesome task of picking up and playing on as if nothing had really happened. One photograph in Old Trafford’s Munich tunnel demonstrates this effectively, if rather eerily. A black-and-white team picture has the shirts of the players who did not return picked out in crimson. A team shot that makes grotesque mockery of what it means to be a team and a haunting memento mori, yet the half of the side that lived had to deal with the reality, and in public. Footballers of the 1950s did not live in a bubble of fabulous wealth, television celebrity or agent-led aloofness either. Supporters regarded them as friends, local boys made good, people one might see – and sometimes did – on the bus. In a real sense the mourning after Munich was so keen because the loss seemed so close. To understand exactly why United were so nearly and dearly loved one would have to go back to the grey austerity of the post-war period and appreciate how brightly Busby’s charismatic band of emerging but already forceful talents illuminated Saturday afternoons. Beyond Old Trafford the visionary Busby was at odds with the ever insular Football Association over the merits of the newly dreamed-up European Cup. English football wanted no part of it, Busby felt it was the future and eventually got his way, only to pay a terrible personal cost. That aspect of the story, along with the emotional scenes at Wembley in 1968 when Busby’s quest came to a successful conclusion, is just one of the reasons Munich remains relevant. United were on the right side of history after all, yet back in the 1950s European glamour was as remote from most people’s lives as the space race. When Busby paid Barnsley £29,999 for Tommy Taylor in 1953 it was a huge fee, not far short of the English record. Busby withheld the last pound – allegedly he gave it to an Oakwell tea lady – because he did not want Taylor burdened by the status Womens Rob Havenstein Jersey of being a £30,000 footballer. Four years later Internazionale of Italy offered £65,000 for the strapping centre forward who grew up with Harold “Dickie” Bird practising headers on Yorkshire waste ground, and Busby turned them down. Taylor was 26 when he died at Munich and, though by that time he had won 19 England caps, the world never got to see whether he would live up to his billing as the new Nat Lofthouse. Duncan Edwards, http://www.49ersauthenticofficialonlines.com/perrish-cox-jersey_c-326.html by some distance the most evocative name on the list of fatalities, was five years younger, yet at 21 had already made 151 United appearances and won two league titles. In the seemingly arbitrary scale of damage from the wreckage Bobby Charlton was relatively unharmed, physically at least. Busby was in hospital for two months but pulled through in the end. Edwards fought for life for 15 http://www.officialauthenticdolphinstore.com/Nike-Mike-Hull-Jersey.html days, surprising doctors who knew the extent of his internal injuries and briefly offering false hope to those praying he might be spared. Recuperating in Northumberland, Charlton can vividly recall hearing the dreadful news from his mother: “Big Duncan has gone.” wholesale jerseyscheap jerseys nflnfl jerseys authenticwholesale jerseys paypal
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