September 29, 2018

Before the Munich Air Disaster: Rarely Seen Photos of the Busby Babes in the 1950s

The Munich air disaster occurred on 6 February 1958 when British European Airways flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport, West Germany.

On the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the "Busby Babes", along with supporters and journalists. Twenty of the 44 on the aircraft died at the scene. The injured, some unconscious, were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich where three more died, resulting in 23 fatalities with 21 survivors.

Last few words from the Boss before they went out against Red Star in Belgrade, at the Hotel Majestick's "Last Supper", 1958. May they Rest in Peace!

The "Busby Babes" were notable not only for being young and gifted, but for being developed by the club itself, rather than bought from other clubs, which was customary then.

Eight of the players – Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Mark Jones (24), Duncan Edwards (21), Billy Whelan (22), Tommy Taylor (26), David Pegg (22) and Geoff Bent (25) – died in or as a result of the Munich air disaster in February 1958, while Jackie Blanchflower (24 at the time of the crash) and senior player Johnny Berry (31 at the time of the crash) were injured to such an extent that they never played again.

Before the Munich air disaster, these intimate photos that captured beautiful life of the Busby Babes in the 1950s.

All aboard, we won the Cup and we are off home, circa 1953-54

Eddie Colman with Liam Whelan outside the Hotel Pickie in Bangor, Northern Ireland, 1953

Manchester United youth team players Kennedy, Fulton and Pegg, March 1953

Manchester United youth team players McFarlane, Lewis and Doherty, March 1953

Manchester United youth team players Scanlon, Colman and Edwards, March 1953

Matt Busby explains how he wants it done to Bobby Charlton, Mark Jones and Liam Whelan, 1953

 United youth team (Eddie Colman is in center), circa 1953

Just arrived back in Albert Square to go into the Town Hall for a presentation after United had returned victorious in winning the Blue Star Youth tournament in Zurich. Left to right: Arthur Powell (trainer), Robert Charlton, Jimmy Murphy, Liam Whelan, Matt Busby, Albert Scanlon, Eddie Colman and Wilf McGuiness, 1953

Albert Scanlon and Eddie with the Hermes Cup (won at Blue Stars Tournament) outside the Town Hall in Albert Square, May 1954

Bobby on the left, Eddie in the centre, Wilf on the right, Swiss Alps in the background in Zurich, May 1954

 David Pegg standing, Alan Rhodes seated, Zurich, 1954

Manchester United Youth Team in Zurich, 1954

"The Boss" gives an impromoptu chat to all the boy's and members of the backroom staff during their preperation whilst in Zurich, 1954

United Party back from Zurich in 1954 with the Hermes Cup for winning the Blue Stars Youth Tournament. The older lady in the centre was United's oldest supporter way back then

Central League Winners, 1955-1956

Edward Colman receives the F.A. Youth Cup Trophy after Manchester United had defeated West Bromwich Albion in the second leg of the final at Old Trafford, 1955

Five Busby Babes at Maine Road, March 1955

Manchester United are the First Division Champions. Duncan Edwards peeking out behind David Pegg, 1955-56

David Pegg, Colin Webster and Tommy Taylor, 1956

FA Cup Final Line Up with a difference, 1956-57

Matt Busby talking tactics to his 'Babes' during a training session, most likely in blustery Blackpool, around 1956-1957

The back from Wembley welcome from the people of Manchester, 1956-57

The Busby Babes by the stadium swimming pool in Madrid, 1956-57

United players waiting to fly to Dublin in 1955 for the England match versus Eire

Eddie Colman, Geoff Bent and Mark Jones and families after the 1957 Cup Final at the Savoy Hotel, London

Edwards, Grieves, Wood, Violet, Pegg, Colman, 1957

Harry Gregg and his wife arrive at Old Trafford to sign for United from Doncaster Rovers met by Busby, Jimmy Murphy and Jackie Blanchflower, 1957

Manchester United players in Madrid prior to the European Cup Semi-Final with Real Madrid, 1957. Byrne, Taylor and Pegg relax and soak up the sun

Roger Byrne, 1957

 United bring the League Division One Trophy to the steps of the Town Hall in Albert Square, 1957

United line up at the Bernabau before their European Cup Semi-Final with Real, 1957

United's Captain Roger Byrne holds the gift given to United by Real Madrid after the European Cup match in Spain at Ringway Airport, 1957

 United's Captain Roger Byrne lifts the championship, 1957

Bobby Charlton at fruit stand, circa 1958

Busby, Mark Jones and Bill Whalley check out the pitch, January 1958

Johnny Berry leads out the boys, followed by Berry, Wood, Foulkes, Taylor, Webster...

MU players boarding to Belgrade, 1958

Players and sport journalists ready to leave Ringway for the journey that was to end in disaster at Munich,
February 3rd, 1958

Smiling and some pensive looks as United players wait to check in at Belgrade Airport 6th February after defeating Red Star Belgrade to reach the European Cup Semi-Final, 1958

Manchester United F.C. 1958. After the Munich Air Disaster this team photo was taken at Blackpool

 Billy Whelan

 David Pegg

Duncan Edwards

Geoff Bent

 Mark Jones

Roger Byrne

Tommy Taylor





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