In memory of David Pegg, Billy Whelan, Duncan Edwards, Eddie Colman, Tommy Taylor, Geoff Bent, Mark Jones and Roger Byrne and all the non-players who died so tragically and needlessly as a result of the crash at Munich airport on February 6 1958. Dedicated to United fan John Dennett 1950-2016

They were but eight of twenty three
Who died in Munich’s tragedy,
The racing pulse of a great team
A tragic end to Busby’s dream

Their plane refused to leave the icy earth
No-one in charge had thought it worth
To sweep the slush that held them down
When safety lay far off the ground

Third time lucky? In heaven, tell that to them
As one last try wrote “Requiem”
And terror replaced youthful mirth
When Busby’s babes were lost at birth

Quickly they would count the cost
Of football genius cruelly lost
A patched-up club, proud but weak
Lost ten years glory at football’s peak

Wing ace David Pegg would no more
Use gliding speed just to ensure
On match day, just after 3,
The full back’s life was misery

Young left back Geoffrey Bent was first reserve
To older captain Roger Byrne, but did deserve
A place in any leading side,
He chose instead his time to bide

But neither loyal Bent nor speedy Byrne could know
That they would perish in the snow
Of Munich on that fateful day
When all their plans were dashed away

Gentle Billy Whelan, all silky skill,
Slow of foot, but quick to kill
A game with pass or goal
He was United’s very soul

Billy’s faith held strong
As the doomed Elizabethan sped along,
Ever calm, ever steady,
He told the frightened boys: “I’m ready”

Among them was the tough Mark Jones
A centre half with steel for bones
Yet mild as a lamb elsewhere
Always strong, but always fair.

Handsome dashing Tommy Taylor stood
For everything the club thought good
For a striker, tall and strong
His power pulled the team along

Tough little Eddie Colman, life and soul
In United’s brand of rock n roll
On and off the pitch he weaved a spell,
No-one could believe he fell

Duncan Edwards was the beating heart
That tore so many foes apart,
Perfection that inspired the claim
He was the greatest in the game.

Without them all, lost needlessly.
We never got the chance to see,
How great this team could have become.
“The greatest ever” insisted some.