Sport Soccer

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Mourinho wants United players to put on a show as club mark Munich anniversary

Old Trafford will fall silent ahead of Saturday’s game with Huddersfield.

A tribute to the Munich Air disaster outside Old Trafford
A tribute to the Munich Air disaster outside Old Trafford

By Simon Peach, Press Association Chief Football Writer

Jose Mourinho hopes to produce a performance befitting the Busby Babes as Manchester United prepare to pay their respects to the victims of the Munich air disaster.

Tuesday marks the 60th anniversary of the plane crash that killed 23 people, including eight players, as Sir Matt Busby’s side returned from a European Cup tie at Red Star Belgrade.

Around 2,000 fans are heading to Munich to pay their respects on Tuesday and a commemorative service is taking place at Old Trafford, where a minute’s silence will be held ahead of the Premier League match against Huddersfield this weekend.

Mourinho wore a Munich pin badge in the press conference previewing that game and spoke eloquently about the disaster 60 years on.

“I was telling before MUTV that this is something that is part of my life, or part of my football culture, before I become Manchester United manager,” the Portuguese said.

“And why? Because it was such a tragedy that stayed in these last 60 years.

“So as Manchester United manager obviously it means much more but I think it belongs to every sportsman as one of the biggest tragedies.

“At the same time, it is a crucial point also in Manchester United’s history – the reaction, the strength, the union after that situation.

“And I think tomorrow is an amazing day to show the respect, to show the passion for the club, the respect for them, the respect for their families and I think it is a day to play well.

“I think it is a day to bring happiness, to bring joy, for people to be together, enjoying their colours, and at the same time with showing all the respect for the people and their families.”

Players will wear black armbands on Saturday, when fans will congregate outside the Munich plaque from 1.30pm for an annual event consisting of readings, prayers and a rendition of ‘the Flowers of Manchester’.

Supporters will receive a commemorative pack containing a limited-edition book about the disaster, as well as a complimentary copy of the matchday programme.

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