London, Feb 6: Survivors of the Munich air disaster will fall silent at a moving memorial service at the moment half a century ago when disaster struck.
They will be joined by millions of fans of Manchester United,
and football fans in general, in remembering the tragedy, at 3.04pm
on February 6 1958.
Twenty-three people, including eight players, the Busby Babes, along with three club officials were killed when their plane, returning from a European Cup clash, crashed on an icy runway in Munich.
The tragedy robbed the world of an emerging team of footballing
greats - but gained United a worldwide following it has retained to
Sir Bobby Charlton will be among the survivors and fans at a special memorial service conducted by club chaplain the Rev John Boyers in the Manchester Suite at Old Trafford to coincide with the time of crash.
And at the same time in Germany hundreds of fans will gather for
a memorial service at the site of the tragedy outside Munich.
The club will also be unveiling a free, permanent exhibition of the Busby Babes in the South Stand tunnel - to be renamed Munich Tunnel. David Gill, United chief executive, says the club will deliver a fitting tribute to those who gave their lives.
"We've tried to make sure we deal with things around the anniversary appropriately and compassionately," he said.
"We spoke to those who were directly affected by the crash such as Sir Bobby, as well as people who know the club and its history intimately like (club secretary) Ken Ramsden and (former United correspondent) David Meek."
There will also be a minute's silence at Wednesday's Wembley friendly between England and Switzerland.