Manchester United and the footballing world will stand in solidarity on the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster this Tuesday.
On February 6, 1958, United’s plane crashed on a flight back from a European Cup tie away to Red Star Belgrade, a tragedy which resulted in 23 people losing their lives.
Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg survived and will be at Old Trafford on Tuesday afternoon for a ceremony marking 60 years since the disaster, alongside the families of current and former players, staff, media and friends.
United manager Jose Mourinho and captain Michael Carrick will lay wreaths on behalf of the club and players, with a minute’s silence to be held at 3.04pm – the time of the fatal crash in Munich.
The first team and under-23s will be at an event that will include readings from former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, club director Michael Edelson and the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
United fans have organised a memorial ceremony in Germany at the monument marking the disaster in Munich, where club ambassador Denis Irwin and senior executives will join around 2,000 United fans.
Our Munich Air Disaster commemorations continue on Tuesday 6 February with a service inside Old Trafford. All are welcome to attend. pic.twitter.com/P69EQC1GFK
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 4, 2018
A few surviving doctors and nurses involved in the treatment of manager Sir Matt Busby and his team will be in attendance, with the fans donating art to the hospital in an expression of gratitude for the treatment they provided.
The mayor of Munich and senior figures from the city’s Bundesliga side Bayern will also be present, while another event is also being held in Serbia.
Ahead of United’s under-19s playing FK Brodarac in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday, academy boss Nicky Butt and his squad will meet with the British Embassy in Belgrade along with officials from Red Star.
Vladica Popovic played for Red Star against United in 1958 and will be at the reception hosted in the same hotel that Busby and his side used 60 years ago.
The under-19s and club officials will lay a wreath and observe a minute’s silence at 3.04pm at Partizan Stadium – the venue for the European Cup quarter-final between the clubs.
The commemorative events began at Old Trafford on Saturday as Huddersfield arrived in the Premier League.
Hundreds of fans congregated under the Munich plaque to pay their respects outside the ground, where there were readings, prayers and a rendition of the Flowers of Manchester.
When inside Old Trafford, fans received a commemorative pack containing a book telling the story of the disaster along with a complimentary programme and letter from Woodward.
We will never forget. pic.twitter.com/Bjo3QrvnmS
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 3, 2018
“(Munich) is forever woven into the fabric of this club’s history,” Woodward wrote in a letter to fans, who impeccably observed a minute’s silence ahead of a 2-0 win that Juan Mata dedicated to the victims of the Munich disaster and their families.
“Obviously it was a special game, a very sad memory,” he told MUTV.
“It was a thing that changed the history of the club and the club showed the passion and the energy that we all have in Manchester United.
“So, we pay respect to the victims and their families, and they will always be in our memories.
“It was a game to win for them and we did it.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Every weekend we scout one player under the age of 23 from around Europe and examine their performance to bring you an in-depth report.
This time, we head to Serie A to check out Turkish baby-faced assassin, Roma winger Cengiz Under as he sealed all three points with a winner against Verona.
Goals – 1
Assists – 0
Shots – 1
Shots on target – 1
Touches – 56
Passes – 34
Key passes – 3
Dribbles – 3
Crosses – 3
Roma have found a solution for their right-wing problems. With Stephan El Shaarawy struggling to make an impact in the position, Under is a candidate to take on the role full time.
Having switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1, Under built on the hardworking performances of his previous three starts and was a real menace on the counter.
His ability to cut inside sharper than drivers cheating traffic, had defenders second guessing and his ability to find Edin Dzeko on at least three occasions should have bore fruit with an assist to add to a stunning goal.
Under thundered his first strike for Giallorossi in the opening seconds – a microcosm for what he can offer as he cut inside onto his left, showed great feet before producing an end product.
A hardworking display hallmarked by a super strike.
Delivery – Proficient with either foot, the Turkish winger displayed a wide range of crosses. He picked out target man Dzeko with flat and floated accurate crosses, even intelligently using his head to find the striker in one instance.
Decision making – Under’s MO is obvious but effective. He wants to drive at defenders one v one, cut inside onto his left foot and swing in threatening crosses. His decision making, determination and timing was deeply impressive as he balanced between going direct and knowing when to release the ball.
One dimensional – While his strength is to cut inside onto that left foot, Under needs to add more weapons to his armoury. At times, he can be a little predictable once he shifts the ball onto his favoured foot so adding more variety will be key going forward.
1st min GOAL: Under shows great strength to snatch the ball off Rolando Aarons on the right side. He mishits the cross but Lorenzo Pellegrini picks up the clearance, feeds Under on the run and he shimmies the ball onto his left before letting fly with a bullet strike into the bottom corner.
6th min CROSS: Brilliant pick out from Under who does well to redirect a header from the right into the path of Edin Dzeko. The striker has space to manoeuvre the shot but blazes his effort over the bar. Should have done better.
15th min CROSS: Under sprints to the byline on his right foot, cuts back onto his favoured left to swing a dangerously deep ball into the box but Dzeko can only meekly strike the ball against goalkeeper Nicolas.
70th min SUBSTITUTED: Pellegrini’s sending off meant Under was brought off with Gerson his replacement.
A sensational finish which proved to be the winner and the relief of scoring his first Roma goal will hopefully provide a platform for confident performances going forward.
He’s still very raw and young of course but watching his talent unfold, you can’t help but feel there is a potential new star emerging from Italy.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
Southgate has been Stateside this week as part of a Leaders in Sport gathering and he has also visited the Minnesota Vikings’ new practice facility, as well as attending Saturday’s NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans.
On Sunday the Three Lions boss will be at U.S. Bank Stadium to see if New England can defeat the Philadelphia Eagles and win a sixth Super Bowl title in 17 years.
Speaking to Press Association Sport on the eve of the 52nd Super Bowl, Southgate said: “I think it’s always difficult to go against people with big match experience in finals.
“My experience of finals is that there’s a level of performance that you’re capable of hitting and very often people think you’ve got to find a level above that to win a final, and actually getting as close to your normal level as possible is normally enough because people freeze on big occasions or the distractions of the whole week are detrimental to the performance.
“Normally those guys with the big-match experience that have been through it, it’s a big, big advantage.
“I don’t know what Philadelphia have in their camp to be able to deal with that but for me, that’s why it’s hard to go against the Patriots really.”
Southgate, 47, developed an interest in the NFL watching it on Channel 4 when he was growing up and remembers being enthralled by the Los Angeles Raiders running back Marcus Allen and the great 1985 Chicago Bears team.
His current role’s demands make keeping track of the NFL more difficult but he has watched on with intrigue as the Patriots have returned to the Super Bowl despite a report, dismissed by the team, that there has been a growing rift between head coach Bill Belichick and 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady.
“What’s clear is that anybody that wins continually, it’s one of the hardest things to do in sport – to win anyway but to win after winning and keep the organisation hungry,” Southgate said of Belichick.
“The level of detail he works at is clear. It’s interesting following the storyline with him and Brady this year, maybe (the relationship) isn’t quite as close.
“That’s always fascinating because Brady’s 40 now so at some point he’s going to have to leave the scene. How that’s all managed for any coach is an interesting case, I think.”
However, Brady, who was named 2017’s Most Valuable Player on Saturday evening, has no plans to retire imminently having shown he can continue to be elite even at 40.
He has revealed his secrets to maintaining such levels, including pliability exercises and tech-enabled sleepwear, also writing a book titled ‘The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance’.
Yet Southgate thinks Brady will be a unique example across sports of someone able to carry on into their 40s.
“If anything you’d say that even though medical science and fitness is improving, that the level of the hits in a lot of sports mean that players will play for less time,” the England boss explained.
“To have the physical capability to do it and the hunger and the desire to still keep going is incredible really. I’m not sure you’d see many of his like.”
— Super Bowl (@SuperBowl) February 4, 2018
Provided by Press Association Sport