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Friday 27 April 2018

'Busby Babe' Liam remembered at graveside ceremony

Rita, Christy and John Whelan at the grave of their brother Liam, who died in the Munich Air Disaster
Rita, Christy and John Whelan at the grave of their brother Liam, who died in the Munich Air Disaster

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has attended a special ceremony to remember Manchester United player Liam Whelan on the 60th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.

The Cabra man was among eight 'Busby Babes' who died in the fateful plane crash on February 6, 1958.

In all, 23 people died when the plane tried to take off in the snow.

Prayers and poems were read out at Whelan's graveside in Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday morning.

Among those attending the intimate ceremony were members of Whelan's family, including his brothers, Christy and John, and sister Rita. The family stood for a photograph as they held aloft a T-shirt emblazoned with the old club crest and the words Flowers Of Manchester.

The club sent representatives to the wreath-laying ceremony.

Respects

Club academy operations manager Nick Cox and education officer Dave Bushell paid their respects. Similar events are being held across the UK for the seven other 'Busby Babes'.

The disaster happened as the team were travelling back from Belgrade after a European Cup tie.

The plane stopped off in Munich to refuel.

However, in heavy snow and a slush-covered runway, British European Airways Flight 609 twice failed to take off.

On the third attempt, the plane crashed. Twenty of the 44 on board died at the scene.

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