How Did Liverpool Help Rivals Manchester United Rebuild After the Munich Air Disaster on 6th February, 1958?

Published 02/06/2024, 4:51 PM EST

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The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United has been going on for the past century. This is a rivalry that has seen countless games that are remembered by the fans of both clubs. However, what the supporters of both clubs will remember happily is when the Reds extended their helping hand to the Red Devils after the Munich Air Disaster in 1958.

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The gesture won the hearts of the soccer world and beyond. It also showed what the sport stands for. Let’s take a look at how one club helped another to rebuild despite the rivalry.

The day Liverpool stood with Manchester United through the tough times

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On 6th February 1958, the whole Manchester United team was flying back to the UK after qualifying for the semi-final of the European Cup. However, unfortunately, a huge tragedy occurred which no one had expected. Their flight which had taken off on the third attempt immediately crashed. The disaster claimed the lives of 23 people on board which also included eight United players and three staff members. The whole soccer world united to support the Red Devils after the incident. However, their rivals Liverpool also were not behind in the matter.

Manchester United did not have enough players to play for the second half of the season due to the incident. To support them, their close rivals Reds stepped in when it mattered the most. They offered them five players on loan to help them through the season. The incident had deeply saddened Liverpool manager Billy Shankly. He even offered the Red Devils to pay the wages of the loaned-out stars.

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Liverpool was not the only top European club that pitched to help Manchester United. The Red Devils also received help from where they would not have expected it to come.

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The day Friendship took over rivalry

It was not just the Reds, other clubs also went out of their way to help Manchester United in their rebuild. Spanish giants Real Madrid in the next season offered the Premier League giants to sign Alfredo di Stefano on loan. However, the transfer did not happen because of the rules. In the end, Los Blancos played a friendly against them and raised funds for the survivors.

They even offered free holidays to the survivors to overcome the mental trauma of the incident. Even Non-league club Bishop Auckland lent them three players on short-term contracts to help them rebuild their clubs.

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The gestures done years ago are still celebrated today amid the rivalries that have continued between the clubs. This type of incident proves the sport of soccer stands for respect and unity beyond the goals and the trophies.

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Written by:

Anuj Nikhil Virjiani

497Articles

One take at a time

I can't express how deep my passion for the sport runs, especially when it comes to the English Premier League. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to understanding the intricate details of the game, both on and off the field. What's fascinating is that my beloved club is Newcastle United, and I've been on a rollercoaster journey with them, from their triumphant promotion from the second tier to the recent takeover and even their remarkable qualification for the Champions League last season.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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