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  • Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield on Monday night
  • Police have removed banner referencing the Munich Air Disaster
  • The banner was draped over a bridge close to Junction Five of the M62 
  • Calls were said to be made by disgusted local residents and United fans
  • Eight United players died in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958 

Mike Keegan For Mailonline

Police and council workers have removed a sick banner referencing the Munich Air Disaster from a bridge over the M62 in the build up to tonight’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

Merseyside Police received calls from members of the public complaining about the banner, which read: ‘Munich 58’, and had been draped over a bridge close to Junction Five of the motorway, which runs from Liverpool to Manchester and beyond, at around 5pm.

Officers and council workers were immediately sent to the scene to remove the sick sign.

A total of 23 people, including eight players, died when a plane carrying the United team crashed on a Munich runway, where it had stopped following a European Cup tie in Belgrade in 1958.

It is understood calls to police were made by disgusted local residents and travelling United fans.

The removal of the banner comes after both clubs issued a statement asking both sets of supporters not to behave offensively.

Previous clashes have been marred by taunts from both sides about the Munich Disaster and the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans perished. 

United fans marked the 50th anniversary of the disaster against rivals Manchester City in 2013

United fans marked the 50th anniversary of the disaster against rivals Manchester City in 2013

Referring to the statement, United manager Jose Mourinho said: ‘In football we have some football tragedies, if you can say that, which is a big match that you lost, the mistake that some player did, this kind of thing.

‘You can make fun of it in a positive way, but the human tragedy is something much more serious.

‘It’s the last thing somebody should use on a football pitch because they were really big tragedies — not to forget but to respect.’ 

MUNICH AIR DISASTER: HOW 23 PEOPLE DIED IN 1958

The Munich air disaster claimed 23 lives when Flight 609 crashed during take off in wintry conditions

The Munich air disaster claimed 23 lives when Flight 609 crashed during take off in wintry conditions

On 6 February 1958 British European Airways flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport, West Germany.

On the plane was the Manchester United team, nicknamed the ‘Busby Babes’, along with supporters and journalists. Sir Bobby Charlton and Matt Busby survived. 

Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor, Liam “Billy” Whelan all died. Duncan Edwards survived the crash, but died in hospital 15 days later.

The squad were returning from a European game in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) when they stopped to refuel in Germany.

In total 20 of the 44 on the aircraft died. The injured, some unconscious, were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich where three more died, resulting in 23 fatalities with 21 survivors.

The pilot James Thain was blamed for the crash but it was later established that slush on the runway caused the accident. 

The crash has become a point of contention between Liverpool and United fans.

Fans of the Anfield club have been known to sing songs mocking the crash. 

In 2013 Liverpool had to issue an apology after their official Twitter account appeared to endorse a ‘joke’ about the air disaster.


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