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Munich: 60 years on

United manager Matt Busby  still on crutches, arriving home in Manchester from Munich
United manager Matt Busby still on crutches, arriving home in Manchester from Munich

Manchester United and the footballing world will stand in solidarity on the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster today.

On February 6, 1958, United’s plane crashed on a flight back from a European Cup tie away to Red Star Belgrade, a tragedy which resulted in 23 people losing their lives.

The wreckage of the British European Airways plane which crashed in Munich on February 6, 1958

The wreckage of the British European Airways plane which crashed in Munich on February 6, 1958

Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg survived and will be at Old Trafford this afternoon for a ceremony marking 60 years since the disaster, alongside the families of current and former players, staff, media and friends. United manager Jose Mourinho and captain Michael Carrick will lay wreaths on behalf of the club and players, with a minute’s silence to be held at 3.04pm – the time of the fatal crash in Munich.

The first team and Under-23s will be at an event that will include readings from former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, club director Michael Edelson and the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

United fans have organised a memorial ceremony in Germany at the monument marking the disaster in Munich, where club ambassador Denis Irwin and senior executives will join around 2,000 United fans.

A few surviving doctors and nurses involved in the treatment of manager Sir Matt Busby (right) and his team will be in attendance, with the fans donating art to the hospital in an expression of gratitude for the treatment they provided.

Rescuers and officials search the wreckage of the BEA Elizabethen airliner which crashed on take off from Munich airport

Rescuers and officials search the wreckage of the BEA Elizabethen airliner which crashed on take off from Munich airport

The mayor of Munich and senior figures from the city’s Bundesliga side Bayern will also be present, while another event is also being held in Serbia.

Ahead of United’s Under-19s playing FK Brodarac in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday, academy boss Nicky Butt and his squad will meet with the British Embassy in Belgrade along with officials from Red Star.

Vladica Popovic played for Red Star against United in 1958 and will be at the reception hosted in the same hotel that Busby and his side used 60 years ago.

The Under-19s and club officials will lay a wreath and observe a minute’s silence at 3.04pm at Partizan Stadium – the venue for the European Cup quarter-final between the clubs.

The commemorative events began at Old Trafford on Saturday as Huddersfield arrived in the Premier League.

Fans impeccably observed a minute’s silence ahead of a 2-0 win.