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 Busby Babes gone but never forgotten

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Rahul
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PostSubject: Busby Babes gone but never forgotten   Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:36 pm

On the Saturday morning, 1 February, there was a good deal of activity inside United’s hotel. It was established later that morning that Mr. George Whittaker, one of the club’s directors, had been found dead in bed in his hotel room. It was another event that would have significant implications for the future of Manchester United Football Club.

Travelling with the United party that day was a fan who was a close friend of Matt Busby. His name was Willie Satinoff. Satinoff was a successful businessman, who had made his money in the ‘rag trade’ in Manchester. He was a devoted family man, and his main leisure pastime was following Manchester United. He was a fanatical supporter and had travelled widely, to league games and throughout Europe, with the official Manchester United party. It was well known in Manchester sporting circles, and especially amongst the press boys, that Willie was on the verge of becoming a Manchester United director. Louis Edwards was around the scene in those days, but was looked upon more as a ‘hanger on’ than anything else. George Whittaker disliked Louis Edwards, and had thwarted him a number of times when he attempted to become a board member. It was Willie Satinoff who was the firm favourite.

As a mark of respect for Mr. Whittaker, United wore black armbands at Highbury, and a minute’s silence was observed before the kick-off. I doubt very much whether anybody who entered that famous old ground that afternoon could have imagined the game they were about to witness. Here is an abridged description of the game by Geoffrey Green[1]:

At Highbury, Manchester United gained quick ascendancy. After only ten minutes they snatched the lead through their powerful wing half Duncan Edwards. A neatly laid-off pass from Viollet found Edwards a few yards outside the penalty box. In this position he was irresistible. His shot was driven too powerfully for Kelsey to handle and United were one up. The goal was typical of Edwards’ shooting power.

Next, on the half hour, United were two up with a goal that was a model for the quick counter-attack. At one moment Gregg was saving superbly under the United crossbar; seconds later, straight from the clearance, Scanlon sprinted seventy yards down the left flank and Bobby Charlton crashed in the centre with all the explosive power that was to become his hallmark.

United's magnificent performance was, of course, a team effort, but the contribution of their wing halves stood out above all else. There can have been few pairs of wing halves with more contrasting styles and appearances as Edwards and Colman, but both shared a belief in the old dictum that attack is the best form of defence. Each complimented the other to perfection; the one the aggressive dreadnought, the other the pocket Napoleon; they prompted and prodded the forwards into unceasing action. As the rhythms and directions of the attack were changed in midfield, the attack itself blossomed in response. Morgans, Charlton, Taylor, Viollet and Scanlon moved like one man.

A third goal was to come before half time. Scanlon crossed from one wing, Morgans returned the ball from the other and Tommy Taylor slotted the ball past Kelsey in the centre to complete a goal of symmetrical precision. At half time the rest of the game looked to be a formality.

The second half did indeed look to be a formality, but football was then a good deal less predictable than it is now. For it was an era when even the payers with the technique and know-how of ‘putting up the shutters’ invariably lacked the inclination to do so when the alternative was to move on yet again with attack. The unexpected was in store. With half an hour left, phase two of the game exploded on the crowded scene. In a dazzling space of two and a half minutes, Arsenal were level. One moment United were free-wheeling to victory, the next they were hauled back to level-pegging.

The goals tumbled out against a solid wall of noise. The breathless recovery was started by Herd, when he volleyed in a clever lob by Bowen. Gregg could only have heard that one. In another minute the score was 2-3, as Groves headed down Nutt’s centre for Bloomfield to score. The cheers were still ringing as the match became all-square. Nutt’s cross was low and precise and there was Bloomfield, diving forward to glance the ball into the net off his eyebrows. Highbury was a big top spinning madly; the stands nearly took off in the pandemonium.

Having turned the game on its head, Arsenal burst every blood-vessel to push home their initiative. At that point Bowen had become an inspiration at wing half; Tapscott, Herd and Groves threatened danger every time the stylish Bloomfield threaded the ball through to them with pin-point passes.

Where others would have sagged and died, United, however, as so often over the years, refused to wilt at the crisis. They trimmed their sails, steadied the boat with a firm hand on the tiller and rode out the storm. Step by step over the last twenty minutes they took charge again like champions. By sheer force of character and will-power they superimposed their skill to dominate events once more.

A flowing passage between Charlton and Scanlon saw Viollet, an exceptional player before the Munich crash, head the ball sharply past Kelsey to give United a 4-3 lead. Yet another sinuous attack by Colman and Morgans sent in Taylor to score a remarkable goal from an acute angle. Even then Arsenal refused to admit defeat. Tapscott, always a great competitive spirit, burst clean through United’s middle to score from a clever opening by Bowen and Herd, and a see-saw match of nine goals finally drew to a close with the score at 4-5.

By the end the thermometer was doing a war-dance. Spectators and players alike were breathless as the teams left the field arm in arm. They knew instinctively that they had created something for pride and memory. Yet, in the event, the match was to become an obituary.

It was the last time most spectators were to see the great Duncan Edwards. He had made his debut for United at the age of fifteen; at eighteen he was the youngest player to win an international cap. He was a player of immense stature; the embodiment of all that was best in professional football. Jimmy Murphy, assistant manager at Old Trafford, felt that he was ‘the one player who, had he survived, would have made the rebuilding of United so much easier’. Beside Edwards, four others [who played at Highbury] were killed: Tommy Taylor, a remarkable centre forward who, with his unselfish running off the ball anticipated the like of Hurst at a time when the battering-ram role of the centre forward was only just beginning to lose ground; defenders Roger Byrne and Mark Jones, and the midfield player Eddie ‘Snake-hips’ Colman, of whom Harry Gregg said, ‘When he waggled his hips, he made the stanchions in the grandstand sway’.

The teams that day were:

Arsenal: Kelsey; S. Charlton, Evans; Ward, Fotheringham, Bowen; Groves, Tapscott, Herd, Bloomfield, Nutt.

Manchester United: Gregg; Foulkes, Byrne; Colman, Jones, Edwards; Morgans, Charlton, Taylor, Viollet, Scanlon.

Let that game stand as an epitaph for a side that the gods loved too much.

We now know, of course, that this would be the last time this dashing young team would perform on the English stage. The 63,000 present at Highbury that day were left with the memory of a beautiful young team, a wonderful bunch of young men and a team that played the game in the right way and in the right spirit. They had witnessed a marvellous and historic game of football between two great clubs.

As the train headed back north that evening, the players were elated. Although they had conceded four goals, Busby didn’t seem to be too concerned. What was worrying him most was that his skipper, Roger Byrne, had picked up a strain and initially was thought doubtful for the Belgrade game the following Wednesday. The players were in high spirits, and eventually arrived at London Road station just after ten thirty in the evening. For the married men it was off home to their wives and families, but the single lads wanted a night out, so went into Manchester city centre to explore the nightlife. They found themselves in a club named The Costa, where they were unaware of the presence of a fair-haired boy from Aberdeen, sitting just opposite them. The lad would play such an important part in reviving Manchester United’s fortunes in the coming years, writing his own name into the folklore of the club. For the time being, however, he was a promising player with Huddersfield Town, and his name was Denis Law.


[1]Geoffrey Green in There’s Only One United: The Official Centenary History of Manchester United, Hodder and Stoughton, 1978, pp 68-71.



-------------------------------------------------------

The above is from a lifelong Manchester United supporter Tom Clare.


Amazing read this....I recommend every United fan to read it. Even a muppet/puppet/glory hunter etc etc.......just link them to this amazing read.


Last edited by Rahul on Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Busby Babes gone but never forgotten   Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:58 pm

Amazing =D>
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PostSubject: Busby Babes gone but never forgotten   Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:56 pm

Munich Remembered -and Never Forgotten


On 6th February 1958 the airliner carrying players and backroom staff of Manchester United, plus a number of journalists and supporters, crashed in a blizzard on its third attempt to take off from Munich airport. United were returning from Belgrade where they had just beaten Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup and had stopped off at Munich for re-fueling. Twenty-three of the forty-four passengers on board the aircraft lost their lives.

Victims and Survivors

Twenty-three people on board the Elizabethan charter aircraft G-ALZU lost their lives in the Munich air crash on February 6, 1958. There were 21 survivors.


Players

Geoff Bent
Roger Byrne
Eddie Colman
Duncan Edwards
Mark Jones
David Pegg
Tommy Taylor
Liam (Billy) Whelan


Journalists


Alf Clarke
Don Davies
George Follows
Tom Jackson
Archie Ledbrooke
Henry Rose
Eric Thompson
Frank Swift
Also killed

Walter Crickmer - club secretary who was in charge of the side during the war.
Bert Whalley - Chief Coach. Former left-half at Old Trafford.
Tom Curry - Trainer. Joined United in mid-30s and regarded by Matt Busby as "best trainer in Britain.''
Capt Kenneth Rayment - Co-Pilot
Bela Miklos - Travel Agent
Willie Satinoff - Supporter
Tommy Cable - Steward

Survivors

Crew

• Margaret Bellis, stewardess (died 1998)
• Rosemary Cheverton, stewardess
• George William "Bill" Rodgers, radio officer (died 1997)
• Captain James Thain, pilot (died 1975)


Passengers


Manchester United players

• Johnny Berry (never played again, died 1994)
• Jackie Blanchflower (never played again, died 1998)
• Bobby Charlton
• Bill Foulkes
• Harry Gregg
• Kenny Morgans
• Albert Scanlon(died 2009)
• Dennis Viollet (died 1999)
• Ray Wood (died 2002)

Manchester United staff

• Matt Busby, manager (died 1994)

Journalists and photographers

• Ted Ellyard, Daily Mail telegraphist (died 1964)
• Peter Howard, Daily Mail photographer (died 1996)
• Frank Taylor, News Chronicle reporter (died 2002)

Other passengers


• Vera Lukić and baby daughter Venona, passengers saved by Manchester United player Harry Gregg. At the time of the accident, she was pregnant with her son Zoran, who also survived.
• Mrs Eleanor Miklos, wife of Bela Miklos
• Nebosja Bato Tomašević, Yugoslavian diplomat.
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PostSubject: Re: Busby Babes gone but never forgotten   Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:56 pm

The Flowers of Manchester