The Flowers of Manchester

Fifty years on, United remembers.

One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
Eight great football stalwarts conceded victory,
Eight men will never play again, who met destruction there,
The Flowers of English football, the Flowers of Manchester.

Matt Busby’s boys were flying, returning from Belgrade,
This great United family, all masters of their trade.
The pilot of the aircraft, the skipper Captian Thain,
Three times they tried to take off and twice turned back again.

The third time down the runway, disaster followed close,
There was slush upon that runway and the aircraft never rose.
It ploughed into the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned,
And eight of that team were killed when the blazing wreckage burned.

Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor who were capped for England’s side,
And Ireland’s Billy Whelan and England’s Geoff Bent died.
Mark Jones and Eddie Colman and David Pegg also,
They all lost their lives as it ploughed on through the snow.

Big Duncan, he went too, with an injury to his brain,
And Ireland’s brave Jack Blanchflower will never play again.
The great Matt Busby lay there, the father of this team,
Three long months passed by before he saw his team again.

The trainer, coach and secretary and a member of the crew,
Eight great sporting journalists who with United flew,
And one of them was Big Swifty who we will ne’er forget,
The finest English keeper that ever graced a net.

Oh England’s finest football team it’s record truly great,
It’s proud successes mocked by a cruel turn of fate,
Eight men will never play again, who met destruction there,
The Flowers of English Football, the Flowers of Manchester.

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