Created on 2020-02-06 at 18:30 PM
FC Bayern commemorates one of the greatest tragedies in the history of football: On February 6th, 1958, 23 people died in a plane crash in Munich, including eight players from English record champions Manchester United.
62nd anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster
On Thursday, a commemoration ceremony was held to mark the 62nd anniversary of the disaster. FC Bayern München AG chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge laid the foundation stone for a commemorative display case at the crash site in Trudering in the presence of club president Herbert Hainer and honorary president Uli Hoeneß, together with Munich City Councillor Christian Vorländer and representatives of the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF).
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Herbert Hainer and Uli Hoeneß at the laying of the foundation stone.
Memorabilia were also added to the stone, including two fan scarves and a stadium program, which was sold at Old Trafford in 1958 for the first game after the crash.
Hainer: A clear signal commemorating this terrible tragedy
"The mourning for the victims and the solidarity with the bereaved is unbroken 62 years after this unspeakable disaster," Rummenigge said. "This is a clear signal commemorating this terrible tragedy," Herbert Hainer later acknowledged.
Among the audience were also around 200 supporters of Manchester United, who had traveled especially for the ceremony and decorated the site, which was renamed Manchesterplatz in 2008, with banners.
In his speech, Rummenigge also thanked everyone who had been involved in the creation of the new showcase. From now on, he said, it should "symbolize remembrance of yesterday and the commitment to today and tomorrow." Despite all the sadness that the accident still causes, the tragedy was also the beginning of a close friendship and bond between Bayern and Manchester United that continues to this day.
"With all the sadness that this disaster has caused, on this anniversary we also always honour those who work for humanitarian causes, charity, and international relations."
"You can see the incredible power of sport. We have a rivalry on the football field, but when the 90 minutes are over, there is an incredible bond," Hainer commented. Bayern and Manchester are the best examples of this, he said. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "We stand for the same things that the people of Munich stood up for back then. They made an immensely important contribution to building a bridge between England and Germany just a few years after the end of the Second World War. And this bridge will last."
Bayern fans keep the memory alive
After a two-minute silence in remembrance of the victims, the fans sang "The Flowers of Manchester" together at the end of the event before Patrick Burns, president of the MMMF concluded by saying: "God save the victims, God save Manchester United" - and once again addressed his thanks to the Bayern Munich delegation: "And God save FC Bayern".
In order to continue the active commemoration of the event, a memorial stone was erected at the scene of the accident in 2004. In recent years, the Bayern fan club Red Docs Munich took over from the late Hermann Memmel, who had been a member of the Bayern advisory board for many years. He had previously taken care of the preservation of the site, which many football fans from all over the world see as a place of pilgrimage. Memmel's widow Fränzi and their son Werner were also present at the event on Thursday.
In 2004, a memorial stone for the victims of the plane crash was erected at the crash site.