The 71-year-old boss has spoken of the impact that the tragic day had on him as a teenager before he came to the club, saying the players that died were destined for greatness.Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed on the 55th anniversary of the Munich air disaster the extent of the impact the tragedy had on him as a person.
The crash on Feb. 6, 1958 claimed 23 lives, including eight United players such as England internationals Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor.
Despite being just 16 at the time of the incident and unconnected to the club, Ferguson says that the sheer loss of life meant that it touched everyone in one way or another, and he praised the job that former manager Sir Matt Busby did in handling the crisis in the aftermath.
"I've been affected since a young boy. It was a sad time," Ferguson told reporters. "For many it's probably long forgotten but for someone like me who remembers the day, you won't forget it."
"How we rose to get over that is remarkable in terms of [manager] Sir Matt [Busby] and [assistant manager/temporary manager] Jimmy Murphy and all the staff at the time. It was a fantastic group of young men who were destined to be great and that was the tragedy of it in how it was taken away from them."
Under Busby, the club went on to beat Benfica just over a decade later to win the European Cup in 1967-68 at Wembley for the first time and Ferguson says the tragedy is one that should not be forgotten.
He added: "When you were caught up in the aftermath of it and the publicity, and when the papers detailed what had happened, you couldn't help but feel that enormous loss for anyone football-minded.
"That has carried on for a long, long time and every year you have to remember that."