Thursday, December 13, 2007

The M-word

CITY have revealed that they will wear a special edition kit for the February derby against United - a game that marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich Tragedy.

The shirt will have a black ribbon embroidered into it along with the words `Manchester Remembers.'

It will be similar to ones that have been produced by City in the past for Remembrance Sunday matches and will not be on sale to the public.

The shirt is one of a series of initiatives that the Blues will undertake either at the Old Trafford game - or ahead of it - to mark the occasion in the appropriate manner.

Blues staff have been working tirelessly behind the scenes with their United counterparts and their own Centenary Supporters Association and official supporters' clubs to make sure the message is clear that the Munich air crash was a tragedy felt throughout the whole of Manchester.


I know this story is a couple of days old, but real job commitments have left me little time to get anything up about it.

The comments section on the piece on the MEN site has certainly filled up, with every emotion and suggestion seemingly on there - ranging from the desire for the club to go even further right to the other end of the spectrum in that people should be free to say and sing whatever they like.

Personally, I feel that it is noticeable over the past few seasons that there is less Munich chanting during games, and whilst there will always be a minority who continue to sing and reference it (many, if not all were probably not even born 50 years) yet both the club, and more importantly fans groups and representatives have taken strides to try and eradicate it.

My own view is that I support any moves that are made to wipe it out. Rivalry is one thing, humour and banter another, but I don't see how there can be any justification for any Munich songs or chanting.

It is often levelled at United that they have 'cashed in' on the disaster for their own benefit, and whilst they undoubted garnered a support (particularly outside of Manchester) following it, I think that accusation does not ring true, and if anything, they should be criticised for the at best, shabby way that the survivors and victims families have been treated - almost tossed aside by the club.

I know for those that were around at the time, it was something that did touch the whole of Manchester quite deeply, and not just United as a club. Obviously Frank Swift died, but at that time there was still the identification with players at the club as 'local lads' and the loss was probably more readily felt.

As for the shirt the club are planning to wear, I think it is a nice touch but I don't like the look of the kit in still carrying sponsors logo's on there. Much preferable would be a blank shirt, carrying just the ribbon logo.

From reading the article, it does appear the club are planning to mark the event in other ways. Whilst it is commendable the club are making efforts to do so, I think they have to be careful in not over playing things. For me, a gesture with the kit and an observation of the silence is sufficient enough.

Obviously the anniversary always garners a great deal of publicity, but next year will be even more poignant and an increased media glare on the game, and I'm sure that aspects of the media and United fans will be all too ready with the 'I told you so' comments.

I don't however believe that anything will be disrupted and that the fans who are in attendance will observe it respectfully.

But, I do understand people who were not personally touched by the tragedy not wishing to be involved in any specific rememberance, yet if you don't wish to observe it directly, simply take your seat late, and allow those who wish to observe it do so.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

dont fall for it myself, let the sychophantic rags do what they want, we should just use the black armband with our usual kit and make much less of a deal than yoonited want us to make it. fans should just stay in the bar during their self congratualtry crap and ' almost bragging' rememberance...and just raise a glass to frank. perhaps use it remember the likes of foe, who manyoo fans often chant about, perhaps have a flag for Hillsborough disaster aswell, for once they wont boo!

Anonymous said...

Do Thomas Cook really want to be associated with an air crash. No wonder AIG so readily agreed.

Anonymous said...

I do remember it - and it was traumatic for young kids, Reds and Blues alike. We lost the first goalkeeper to captain England (and arguably the best City ever had), and as the article said United took the financial high ground (prior to Munich, City WERE the Manchester team). Let them get on with it - we've moved on!!