Every year two remembrance events take place under the Munich Plaque at Old Trafford. One is on February 6th and the other is prior to the home match nearest to the anniversary of the crash. Both events are run and organised by us (Munich58).
The remembrance events last for approximately 25 minutes and contain a range of songs, poem readings and prayers together with the reading out of the names of all those who died and a minute’s silence. The event usually ends with a rendition of the United chant “We’ll never die!”
Since 2015, Rev. John Boyers, the former Manchester United Club Chaplain has acted as MC for the events.
Pete Martin, a local United fan leads the singing of two songs: “The Pride of Football” which he wrote for the 50th anniversary of the crash in 2008 and “The Flowers of Manchester”, a folk song that was written in October 1958. He encourages those in attendance to join in the singing (we provide the words in the Munich58 Memorial brochure that we hand out to those in attendance).
Kady Cavannagh and Steve Douglas, also both locally-based United fans, read out poems they have written about The Busby Babes and the Munich crash.
Mike Thomas from Munich58 opens the event with a short welcome address and closes the event with a vote of thanks to all those who have provided a contribution.
The annual remembrance events under The Munich Plaque have always been, and will continue to be “by the fans, for the fans”. However, Manchester United witnessed the growth of this event from 6 people in 2001 to thousands in 2020 and have acknowledged the work that Munich58 does.
In 2014 The Club approached Munich58 to offer their kind assistance in any way we felt appropriate. They now provide the PA system and raised platform for the speakers and singers, promote the events on the Club’s website and social media channels and organise and pay for the printing of this memorial brochure which has been designed by Elaine from Munich58. We, at Munich58, would like to publicly acknowledge the support of Manchester United and thank them for it.
It is heartwarming that in under 20 years what started as an informal supporters gathering with only a handful of people has now become the remembrance ceremony attended by thousands.