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Street Reds honour Munich

Participants from our Street Reds projects made the journey to the Bavarian capital as part of a special trip to mark the 66th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.

| by Nathan Thomas

Commemorating the anniversary of Munich is an important occasion for the Foundation as a charity founded on the same principles that enabled Sir Matt Busby to build the great United team of the 1950’s – giving young people an opportunity to thrive.


In 2023, for the very first time, a group of our Street Reds participants were given the chance to visit Munich, attend the memorial service at Manchesterplatz and also enjoy a memorable cultural experience. We were delighted to be able to offer the same opportunity to a new group of young people this year, with four girls and four boys from Street Reds projects across Greater Manchester flying out to Germany on the Monday ahead of the 6th February anniversary.

Prior to their trip, the group enjoyed an educational workshop to learn more about the great United team that was so tragically effected by the disaster, and their importance to the Foundation and what we do. They also had the chance to hear from Rachel Viollet, daughter of legendary forward Dennis, who was a survivor of the crash.

“My dad would be so proud to know about this trip and how such a positive legacy has been forged from something so tragic,” Rachel told us after her talk.

“Just like the participants, my dad was a young person from Manchester looking to achieve his dreams with the help of Manchester United. I hope they found his story inspiring and relatable as they prepare to head out to Munich.”

Once out in Munich, the participants first attended the memorial service in the Trudering suburb of Munich, at a small square now known as Manchesterplatz. The youngsters had been asked by MMMF (Manchester Munich Memorial Fund), who organise the event, to play a part in the ceremony, with participants Noah and Amelia laying a wreath on behalf of the Foundation and Walid reading a poem written by United Under-13 Academy scholar.

“I felt so proud walking up to put the wreath down,” Amelia, said. “I’m a big United fan and it feels like I’ve made a difference for the club I love.”

“Today I read a poem by one of our Academy players,” Walid told us. “It was really nice to be able to read something that showed what my generation thinks about what happened. It was special to be involved.”

Travelling to Munich to commemorate the tragic events of 6th February 1958 goes far beyond just a service of remembrance, in fact, recent years have years have seen MMMF seek to create a positive legacy from the disaster with support from Manchester United, the city of Munich and Bayern Munich. The Foundation’s trip is very much in this spirit, focusing of course on the rich tradition of our club, but also with an eye on the next generation and how we can give exciting and enriching opportunities to the young people we work with.

Following on from the memorial, we joined-up with two local charities supported by MMMF, Pikassio Libero and Buntkicktgut, who respectively gave the group a tour of the Bavarian capital and hosted a rooftop football session. Then, it was onto the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich where the group was greeted warmly and treated to a tour of the home of the German champions.

“I loved the rooftop football, it was so fun, and visiting the Allianz Arena of course,” participant Noah said. “It’s been so special to come here and experience Munich while also representing the Foundation – I’m a big United fan, so it means a lot.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity for all of us and we’ve had the best time.”

Anthony Savery, Community Projects Coordinator, who led the trip echoed Noah’s sentiments.

“The kids have been a credit to the Foundation and we’re delighted to have been able to give them such an incredibly enriching experience,” he commented. ”Here at the Foundation we’re aware that these kind of trips and opportunities don’t come readily for some of our participants, so it’s important that we’re able to do that for them.

“I think this trip encapsulates everything that we do, so well: honouring the legacy of the Busby Babes and how important it is to recognise the talents in young people, while also giving them the platform to develop, grow and succeed. It’s been a really successful few days.”