The Busby Babes before the game at Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup, the last time they were to play together

Manchester United will mark the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that killed eight members of its famed team of "Busby Babes" by playing February's Premier League match against Manchester City in a 1950s style kit.

United has been given special permission by the Premier League and its sponsors to wear the plain red jerseys and baggy shorts for the Feb. 10 match at Old Trafford.

Manchester United will make just 32 'secret' shirts to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster which killed eight players in 1958.

Amid the tightest ever security, not even team boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his players will see the one-off strip before theywear it against bitter rivals Manchester City on February 10.

The 1950s style shirts will be close replicas of those worn by the ill-fated Busby Babes in their last photo before they played at Red Star Belgrade and then caught the doomed plane home.

The 16-man squad for the City game can keep the one they wear while the remainder will be put in the United museum.

The game was chosen because it is scheduled just four days after the 50th anniversary and because former City goalkeeper Frank Swift, who was following United as a journalist, also died in the accident.

"The Munich air crash was not just about Manchester United," chief executive David Gill said late Thursday. "It devastated the lives of the 23 families of those who died, as well as those who never played again, and united a city in grief.

"Those who are able to remember it say it was Manchester's 'Kennedy moment.' Everyone knows where they were when the terrible news came through."

Eight players were among 23 people killed on Feb. 6, 1958, when a plane carrying United home from a match at Red Star Belgrade crashed in Munich after refueling.

Bobby Charlton was among those to survive the crash, while manager Matt Busby recovered, despite having his last rites read twice, to rebuild the side and win the 1968 European Cup with a team including the England great.

United also plans to call Old Trafford's south stand tunnel "The Munich Tunnel," with the renamed route the site of a permanent, free exhibition about the famous team — which was decimated before it had a chance to fulfill predications that it would dominate English soccer.

United will hold a memorial service involving survivors and families of victims, and allow its subscription channel MUTV to be viewed for free on Feb. 6, when it will broadcast a series of programs about the crash without advertisements.


Comments (1)

  1. johnnycakes

great news,traditional colours,proper numbers and no names or sponsors on the strip,a fitting tribute.

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