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Friday, February 6, 1998 Published at 23:41 GMT


The Busby Babes remembered
image: [ The service to remember those who died ]
The service to remember those who died

A special memorial service has been held at Manchester Cathedral for the 23 people killed - including eight Manchester United players - when their plane crashed during take-off at Munich airport in 1958.

In an address, Sir Bobby Charlton, who survived the disaster, said that the players from the famous team known as the Busby Babes would never be forgotten.

Alex Ferguson pays tribute to those who died (3'-29")
The current manager, Alex Ferguson, said the players had been an inspiration for those who followed them.

The service - attended by Manchester United's players past and present, as well as friends and family - heard a recording of the voice of the then manager, Sir Matt Busby, who was seriously injured in the crash.

[ image: David Beckham: remembering those who have gone before]
David Beckham: remembering those who have gone before
The eight young players were considered to be part of the finest team to have emerged in England since the war.

The service marked the culmination of a day of remembrance, with scores of fans laying wreaths at Old Trafford.

One card said simply: "The Babes will live forever."

Sir Bobby Charlton: "They'll never be forgotten" (0'22")
Many of the players' parents were teenagers when the disaster occurred, but Ryan Giggs still appreciates the full tragedy of what happened all those years ago.

"It's just something that I have grown up with being a United fan and it was something which was terrible for the club," he said.

Bill Hughes, a lifelong United supporter, said: "I've taken the day off work to come here and lay flowers for those who died in the tragedy."

Paul Watts, a civil servant from Watford, said he had travelled up to Manchester specially: "I've come to pay my respects. Munich means that the club has a special place in people's hearts."

Many fans stood in silence beneath a statue of Sir Matt Busby as the ground's clock showed 3.04 pm - the time of the plane crash.

There were also tributes from Manchester United supporters' clubs around the world.

The Scandinavian branch, the biggest outside the UK, has sent 120 representatives to Manchester who will attend Saturday's home game against Bolton.

A minute's silence will be observed at the match at 3.04pm.

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05 Feb 98 | UK
3.04pm, February 6, 1958

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