February 6 th 1958 was the date that changed football forever.
The tragic events of that snowy afternoon at Munich airport not only resulted in the loss of the services of some of the finest players of that or any other generation,but it garnished love ,sympathy and everlasting support worldwide for Manchester United and The Busby Babes.
Now,56 years on ,those of us alive at the time .will be recalling where they were when the terrible news came through that the third attempted take-off had ended in disaster with 21 of the 43 passengers and crew dead,with two more to lose their lives later,along with many seriously injured.
My mother used to relate a story about me as a kid joining her in front of the television,not really understanding what had happened as the news filtered through about the terrible loss of life.
My father who was a fanatical United supporter told me later of the exploits of that young and blossoming team as another generation of our family became addicted to the Red Army for life.
Who knows what lay ahead for those superstars who seemed destined to conquer Europe and eclipse the mighty Real Madrid ,at the time the world's best team.
The previous season had seen United lose 5-3 on aggregate to the Spaniards in their first entry to the continent's elite competition..Now if they could get past AC Milan ,Puskas,Di Stefano,,Gento and the rest would surely face a stiffer task
Sadly,fates intervened and the makeshift team Jimmy Murphy put out lost 5-2 over the two legs and the chance was gone.
So as the flags are lowered to half mast ,and the last two survivors,,Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg,-who should also have been knighted for his bravery that day,- recall those terrifying moments,we should all stop for a moment and pay tribute to all those who perished in the event that changed Manchester United's history and the game in general.
We shall never forget.