On February 3rd 2023, the Chairman of the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation (MMMF), Pat Burns, presented a brass plaque to the Metropol Hotel in Belgrade to commemorate the Busby Babes, who had stayed there during the fateful trip in February1958.

Attending the short ceremony were the following Dignitaries and friends:

Dominic Otway, Deputy Head of Mission to His Majesty’s Ambassador to Serbia; and other officials from the UK embassy;

From FK Crvena Zvezda/Red Star Belgrade:

  • Svetozar Mijailović – President
  • Dragan Džajić – Honorary President
  • Den Tana – Former Board member
  • Dušan Maravić – Player from 1958

From FK Partizan Belgrade:

  • Atila Hasanagic
  • Dragan Velanac
  • Dejan Bogdanovic

From Manchester United Football Club:

  • Ambassador and club legend Ronny Johnsen
  • Club officials Rick McGagh and Michael Gibson

Also in Attendance:

  • Dragan Hrelja and Nebojsa Stankovic – FK Studentski Grad Belgrade
  • MUSC MALTA – 9 in total including 5 branch Committee officers
  • 3 from MUSC Bedfordshire
  • 3 from MUSC Dundalk along with 2 Red Star Belgrade Friends and one from USA
  • Pero Radovanac – Belgrade MUSC
  • MMMF Trustee Ifty Ahmed and member Steve Leggott plus Steve’s son Mark

Pat made a short presentation speech and we also heard from Dragan Džajić, Honorary President and all star Red Star of Red Star Belgrade

Dominic Ottway also spoke on behalf of His Majesty’s Ambassador to Serbia, Sian MacLeod.

A brass plaque (see photo) had been commissioned by the MMMF and will now be put on display in the foyer of the Metropol Hotel.

The plaque reads:


Last played on 5th February 1958 vs RED STAR BELGRADE
The tour party stayed here at the METROPOL HOTEL until 6th February 1958
Died tragically as a result of the Munich Air Disaster in Trudering Riem Munich on 6th February 1958

Geoff BENT
David PEGG
Liam (Billy) WHELAN

Gone but never forgotten and forever in our hearts. Rest in Peace.
Donated by the Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation – MMMF


Finally, on behalf of our friends at the Association of Former Manchester United Players (AFMUP), Pat presented association member ties to the 6 attendees from FK Crvena Zvezda/Red Star Belgrade.

If you have enjoyed reading this and you would like to make a donation to the MMMF, to help us continue our charitable work in the memory of The Busby Babes in Manchester, Munich and Belgrade, then please do so via: https://mmmf.co.uk/just-giving-2023/

UPDATE: 11th February…MMMF featured in this article on Manchester United’s website


The above video courtesy of Red Star Belgrade Media Team