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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

We will remember

by Pete

I was nine years old when the plane crashed. In the fifty years since I have endured most of the horrors that life can throw up. Nothing has ever come remotely close to the devastating effect that that event had upon me.

I had finished my paper round and gone with my best mate, Paul, to his house where his mum had some toast waiting for us. It was just before five o'clock. They had a television and we put it on. Instead of the programme we expected it was the newsreader telling us a plane had crashed.

It was Manchester United's plane.

We heard the news but couldn't believe it or grasp it.

I ran home to my grandparent's house and told them what I thought I had heard. They put the wireless on and the three of us waited for the news to come on on the Home Service.

It confirmed what I thought I'd heard.

When my dad got home he knew. He worked in Hardman Street next to the Daily Mail offices and they all knew.

When we found out when the boys were coming home I so wanted to go. My mum was reluctant, but dad insisted I should go.

We got the bus up Princess Road and stood outside St Ambrose church near the corner of Princess Road and Barlow Moor Road. We seemed to stand there for ever.

Then the coffins came. The coffin of Roger Byrne my Hero of Heroes was amongst them.

It was like the worst possible of bad dreams.

But it got worse. Duncan died.

I have never recovered from those events and I never will.

Although we mourn our dead and grieve for our wounded we believe that great days are not done for us. The sympathy and encouragement of the football world and particularly of our supporters will justify and inspire us. The road back may be long and hard but with the memory of those who died at Munich, of their stirring achievements and wonderful sportsmanship ever with us, Manchester United will rise again.

Harold Hardman, February 1958

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them......we will remember them

Keep the faith


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