Friday 30 September 2016

Manchester United criticised for 'disgraceful' decision to remove Matt Busby plaque

Callum Davis

Published 05/09/2016 | 10:12

Manchester United have been criticised for their decision to remove a plaque commemorating Matt Busby
Manchester United have been criticised for their decision to remove a plaque commemorating Matt Busby

Manchester United have been criticised following their decision to remove a plaque commemorating club legend Matt Busby.

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The plaque was attached to the former Manchester United manager's seat in the Old Trafford director's box following his retirement from football.

The club have also taken the decision to relocate Busby's family's seat to another spot in the stadium.

The move has been branded 'disgraceful' by fans on Twitter who see the removal of the plaque as disrespectful to one of the club's most famous icons.

"For over 40 years Matt Busby's family have had a table in the directors suite at Old Trafford, with four tickets in the directors' box," a source told Manchester Evening News.

"The powers that be at Old Trafford have decided to call time on this and have told the families they wont be getting any tickets this year.

"Worse than that they have removed the plaques on the seats, including the one with Sir Matt Busby's name on. That name has been on his seat for nearly 50 years - so who is going to sit there now?"

Ian Stirling, vice-chairman of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust asked that the club's hierarchy reconsider the move.

"We'd advise the club to reconsider their decision. Supporters rightly recognise and value the contribution Sir Matt and his family have made to the history of our club," said Stirling

"The removal of the plaque is insensitive and it should be restored. We hope the club can suitably accommodate the needs of the Busby family on match days as all supporters want to see the family honoured and Sir Matt remembered."

Matt Busby passed away in 1994 after overseeing one of the most successful periods in Manchester United's history between 1945 and 1971.

Busby was forced to overcome significant tragedy at the club following the Munich Air Disaster in 1958.

The United manager was injured in the plane crash in which 23 people died, including eight of his so-called 'Busby Babes' team.

Busby recovered from injury in the disaster to build one of Manchester United's most celebrated teams, going on to win the club's first ever European Cup.

Along with a plaque on one of the seats in the Old Trafford box, Busby's family were afforded free season tickets.

Busby's grandchildren have now been given new season tickets in the Warwick Suite area of the stadium.

Despite the furore surrounding the club's decision, Busby's grandchildren have reiterated their appreciation for the club's hospitality.

"My dad always said it was a privilege to have those box tickets. We have been extremely grateful to United for what they have given us over the past years," said Amanda Eustace, daughter of Busby's son, Sandy.

'We do still have season tickets, which is absolutely fantastic.'

A bronze statue of the former Manchester United manager remains outside the front of Old Trafford after it was erected in 1996.

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