FROM THE depths of despair 60 years ago when Manchester United lost, amongst others, South Yorkshire-born players Tommy Taylor, David Pegg and Mark Jones in the Munich air disaster, the club rose from the ashes, in part, because it never lost its faith in its manager Sir Matt Busby.
Badly injured in the tragedy, he presided over the careers of iconic players like Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the ‘Busby Babes’ lucky to escape with his life.
It was also a different era. Managers like Sir Matt had a humility and a presence; players respected him and his contemporaries and football clubs were intertwined with the communities that they represented. Contrast this with today where, once again, Leeds United and Bradford City are looking for new managers after suffering dips in form which would have been tolerated in previous eras.
Perhaps the poignancy of today’s commemorations will provide modern football with the reality check that it appears to need.