MMMF members started to arrive in Munich from Friday 3rd February. By Sunday 5th, 14 out of 22 of us were there. We were there, along with approximately 1200 reds, to commemorate the special 65th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.
Just prior to our memorial service, we witnessed the official unveiling ceremony for the new memorial showcase at Manchesterplatz by the Mayor of Munich, Oberburgermeister Dieter Reiter, Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham, along with President Herbert Hainer from FC Bayern Munich, MUFC ambassador Bryan Robson, Red Docs Munichs’ Mark Salzmann and Pat Burns from the MMMF.
We heard great speeches from:
- Oberbürgermeister Dieter Reiter
- Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham
- President Hainer from FC Bayern
- Ellie Norman CCO on behalf of MUFC
- Dr Mark Salzmann of Red Docs Munich; and also
- Pat Burns spoke on behalf of all MUFC fans.
The new showcase is a superb addition to the memorial square and we are hugely grateful to both Red Docs Munich and FC Bayern for their steadfast loyalty, friendship and support.
On Monday 6th February, promptly at 2:45 p.m. the official memorial service was opened by MMMF Chairman, Pat Burns.
We immediately sang our iconic anthem “The Red Flag”. Led by Pat, it was a truly inspirational opening to the service.
- Oberbürgermeister Dieter Reiter, the Lord Mayor of Munich
- From FC Bayern, President Herbert Hainer
- Mark Salzmann, Red Docs Munich
- Dr Peter Maurer (son of Professor Georg Maurer) and his wife Dr Christine Maurer
- Nurse Elisabeth Weber
- Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester
- MUFC Chief Communications Officer Ellie Norman
- MUFC Club Ambassador Bryan Robson
- Nick Cox, Director of Manchester United Academy
- Tony Whelan, Neil Harris and Dave Bushell and the under 13s from the Manchester United Academy
- Our charity partners in Munich – Pikassio Libero and Buntkicktgut
- Visiting friends from the MU Foundation
Pat introduced the official MMMF fans representatives, Michelle Skinner and her daughter, Gabriella Cansfield from Runcorn, who were the 2022 fans representatives, but were unable to travel in the pandemic, and also Peter Miller and his Grandson Zane Miller from Michigan USA, who are the 2023 representatives.
Pat outlined the rest of the ceremony and it started with all four fans representatives reading out the names of the 23 souls who tragically perished as a result of the disaster.
Impeccably observed, fans then joined together in singing in full “Forever and Ever”, led by Pat along with the MMMF Vice Chairman, Tony Crook.
We then held the official 2 minutes silence, exactly at 3:04 p.m.
Again, this was observed impeccably in such a respectful and solemn silence by all present.
The following wreaths were laid:
- Peter Miller and Zane laid the official fans wreath on behalf of all MUFC fans
- Bryan Robson, MUFC Club Ambassador, who laid the official club wreath on behalf of the club
- President Herbert Hainer laid a wreath on behalf of FC Bayern
- Oberburgermeister Dieter Reiter laid a wreath on behalf of the City of Munich
- Mayor Andy Burnham laid a wreath on behalf of the City of Manchester
- Michelle Skinner and Gabriella Cansfield laid a wreath on behalf of AFMUP
- MUFC U13 Academy Players – Oliver Meredith
Plus wreaths were laid by:
- MUSC Malta – Kevin Tabone Club Treasurer and Clint Camilleri Club Secretary
- MUSC Scandinavia – Lars Morten Olsen
- Gorton Reds in memory of our Captain Roger Byrne – Les Park and Jason Daly
“The Flowers of Manchester” was sung beautifully by Tracey Malone.
Joe Williams from the MUFC academy under 13 team read out his poem, which had been selected by Pat Burns as the winning poem during the academy project on Munich and The Babes.
Pat then officially closed the ceremony with the beautiful short poem entitled
“A Broken Heart”:
A broken heart
A broken dream
A broken plane
A broken team
No word said
A silent vow
We loved you then
We love you now.
Here are just a few photographs below and our videos of both the ceremonies (for those unable to travel) to enjoy will be uploaded here ASAP:
Pat Burns, Chairman, Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation MMMF
If you have enjoyed reading this definitive account 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/