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By ESPN Staff

Football to pay respects to Munich dead

Football will pay its tribute to the legend of the Busby Babes tomorrow in moments of remembrance on the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster.

Eight Manchester United players lost their lives on February 6, 1958, when BEA flight G-ALZU crashed on the third attempt to take off after re-fuelling in Germany on the way back from knocking Red Star Belgrade out of the European Cup.

Sir Matt Busby's side, back-to-back English champions and well positioned for a hat-trick attempt, were arguably on course to become the best-ever United team.

The United players who died in the crash were Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan.

They will be remembered with a commemorative service at Old Trafford tomorrow afternoon while a short ceremony, organised by supporters, will also take place at the memorial site in Trudering, on the outskirts of Munich.

The Manchester United Independent Supporters Association have organised the 2.30pm service in Germany; after a short religious opening, a reading of the names of the dead will be followed by a citation of 'The Flowers of Manchester', the playing of the tune on the bagpipes and a lament as people lay wreaths.

The short ceremony has been planned to allow fans time for their own thoughts ahead of 3.03pm, the time when the plane began its failed take-off half a century ago.

In keeping with tradition, United supporters will also gather under the memorial plaque at Old Trafford ahead of that time.

MUTV, the club's official television channel, will be free to air in the UK throughout the day for all cable and satellite viewers - and the memorial service from the ground will be screened live.

Later in the day, a minute's silence will take place ahead of England's friendly with Switzerland at Wembley as a further mark of respect.