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The Flowers of Munich Continued - page 2

Players relaxing: Colin Webster, Eddie Colman, Wilf McGuinness,Jackie Blanchflower, Mark Jones, Ray Wood, Bobby Charlton,Duncan Edwards. In front: Liam Whelan
Players relaxing: Colin Webster, Eddie Colman, Wilf McGuinness,
Jackie Blanchflower, Mark Jones, Ray Wood, Bobby Charlton,
Duncan Edwards. In front: Liam Whelan

I went another 20 yards and found Jackie Blanchflower. The snow was melting around him because of the heat and the burning part of the aircraft. He was crying out that he had broken his back and was paralysed. I looked and saw Roger Byrne lying across him and I don't think Jackie had realised that it was Roger's body which was holding him down.

Roger didn't have a mark on him. He was a handsome fellow, handsome in life and handsome in death. I kept talking to "Blanchy." His right arm was almost severed and I took my tie off to tie round his arm. I pulled so hard I broke it. I looked up and one of the stewardesses was standing there. I asked her to get something to tie his arm with but the poor girl was in shock, so just used what was left of my tie.

People came from across the fields, ordinary people, not rescue people. I didn't see any of those at all. Eventually a Volkswagen arrived which was a coal van. Jackie was put into it, also Johnny Berry who I didn't even recognise as a player until I saw the badge on his blazer. Myself Billy Foulkes and Dennis Viollet were also put in and we were driven to the hospital.

I remember breaking down and crying when we got there and I saw Bobby Charlton, Peter Howard,Ted Ellyard and a big Yugoslav. I was just relieved that there were more of us alive. Some of us were asked to identify people they were working on. Ray Wood was lying on the floor as they attended to his eye.

REMARKABLE

They gave us a bowl of soup and the Yugoslav collapsed. He just slid down the wall. He had been walking around with a broken leg which suddenly gave way. They started to give us injections. Bobby fainted and so he was kept in hospital.

Billy Foulkes, Ted, Peter and I were taken to a hotel where the people looked after us wonderfully.

Jimmy Murphy turned up the following day with Jean Busby, Sandy Busby, Duncan's father, Gladstone, Jimmy Payne, Duncan's best friend, Jackie's dad and the wives like Jean Blanchflower.

Jean Busby at that time was remarkable. She took care of everyone and encouraged the other wives while all the time her own husband was upstairs fighting for his life. She was strong, very, very strong.

I had to go back to the hospital the next day. I could hardly get out of bed because of my back. They gave me injections to the point where I said that's enough because the injections were worse than the bad back. Jimmy Murphy asked Bill and I to stay for a few days so that those lying in hospital wouldn't realise the Full extent of the accident.

Munich Survivors were guests of UEFA at the final of the 1997 European Cup final in Munich, a poignant reunion Back Row: Harry Gregg, Jackie Blanchflower, Ray Wood, Front Row: Bill Foulkes, Dennis Viollet, Bobby Charlton, Ken Morgans, Albert Scanlon
Munich Survivors were guests of UEFA at the final of the 1997
European Cup final in Munich, a poignant reunion
Back Row: Harry Gregg, Jackie Blanchflower, Ray Wood,
Front Row: Bill Foulkes, Dennis Viollet, Bobby Charlton,Ken Morgans
& Albert Scanlon

Eventually professor Maurer took Jimmy, Bill and myself round the theatres and would stop at the foot of each bed to tell us their chances of survival. The Boss: Fifty-fifty because he was a strong man, Jackie Blanchflower OK, Duncan fifty-fifty but when he got to little Johnny Berry he whispered, no, no, I am not God. Johnny survived of course but unhappily died a year or two ago.

Duncan Edwards woke up when we went into his room and he asked us: "What time is kick-off?" Quick as a flash Jimmy Murphy told him three o'clock, son. Duncan responded:"Get stuck in."

Bill and I came home and I remember about 10 days afterwards all the newspapers in my house kept disappearing. I couldn't figure what was going on until realised they were being hidden from me. Big Duncan had died. I found that hard. It hit me terribly. Yes, that was Munich.

A lot of people wondered where Matt Busby got the strength from to return to football and start all over again. I went to see him shortly after he got back to England. He had aged terribly and he told me that the hardest part for him after the march was the way Johnny Berry kept coming to his room to say: "Tommy Taylor's some friend of mine, he hasn't even been to see me." Johnny didn't know the full extent of the crash and Matt said he just didn't know what to say to him.

He told me: "Son, they couldn't give me an anaesthetic to set my broken foot because of my chest injuries, so they set it a bone at a time, one every day It was cruel, but it didn't hurt me like Johnny Berry coming into my room every day to say Tommy Taylor was a poor friend."

It was awful for Jimmy after the crash, too. He had so much to do. I remember in Munich walking up the stairs to my room and I was one flight from the top when I heard this terrible crying. At first I couldn't figure it out but as I got nearer I could just make out Jimmy sitting in the dark on the empty staircase crying his eyes out. I just quietly walked away.


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