City of Manchester unites to mark Munich anniversary

  • Other Sport
  • Friday, 11 Jan 2008

MANCHESTER: Manchester City will join Manchester United in marking the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster when they visit Old Trafford in the Premier League next month. 

City will wear a special kit incorporating a black ribbon with their sponsors branding removed to reflect their own involvement in the tragedy which claimed the life of their former great England goalkeeper Frank Swift, who played for the club from 1933 to 1949. 

The disaster, on Feb 6 1958, occurred when the aircraft carrying United back from a European Cup match in Belgrade crashed on takeoff after a refuelling stop in Munich. Eight of Sir Matt Busby’s exciting young team, dubbed “the Busby Babes” died as did 15 other people including Swift, who was covering the match as a reporter. 

A letter, and a photograph of Swift will be handed to all the 3,000 City fans attending the match signed by City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and club captain Richard Dunne urging them to respect and support the commemorations planned to take place on the pitch before the kickoff. 

“Many supporters will already be aware that Manchester City lost one of our own in the tragedy. We ask that all supporters uphold the good name of Manchester City and respectfully support the commemorations which will also be attended by friends and family of the victims including Frank Swift’s family.” 

Former Manchester United club secretary Ken Ramsden, who has helped organise the commemorations for the day said on Wednesday: “What happened at Munich was not just a disaster for United but for the whole of the city of Manchester and we are sure that City fans will unite with us and share in the occasion with us.” 

United will also wear a special replica of their 1958 kit on the day, devoid of the players’ names or shirt numbers on the back. – Reuters 

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