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The story leading up to February 6th, 1958

Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:57 am

20 January 1958
Assistant Manager Jimmy Murphy will not travel to Belgrade with the rest of the Manchester United party next month, because Wales have a World Cup qualifying match in Cardiff.

Murphy, who was given charge of the Welsh international side last year, will manage his side against Israel on Tuesday February 4th; United take a slender 2-1 lead into the quarter final second leg against Red Star on the following evening.

28 January 1958
Manchester United has announced that the team is to hire a private aeroplane for the forthcoming European Cup trip to face Red Star Belgrade.

Back in December, United made a mid-week journey to Czechoslovakia for a second leg tie against Dukla Prague, but the return flight was delayed by fog and the team was forced to divert to Amsterdam, eventually completing the journey by sea and land with only hours to spare before a league match away to Birmingham City. A tired United XI, lucky to have even made it to the ground on time, could only draw.

In an attempt to do all that is possible to get back in good time for this week-end's match at home to top-of-the-table Wolves, United's management has made arrangements to hire a private plane for the two-thousand-mile round trip to Eastern Europe. Although the flights will still be at the mercy of the weather, at least the team will be able to make their own time and will not have to conform to the airlines' schedules.

The aircraft is to be a 47-seater Air Ambassador, provided by British European Airways (BEA).

3 February 1958
Manchester United are facing an injury worry over their captain and right-back Roger Byrne in the run-up to Wednesday night's crucial European Cup quarter-final second leg with Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia.

Byrne suffered a slight strain towards the end of United's epic 5-4 league win at Highbury on Saturday. Although he is flying to Belgrade with the rest of the team, he is by no means certain to play.

Reserve right-back Geoff Bent is travelling with the United team as cover for the club's skipper. Meanwhile, reserve forward Colin Webster will definitely miss the trip. The Welsh international is suffering from 'flu, and will remain in Manchester when the rest of the team fly out to Belgrade.

5 February 1958, 22:48
Manchester United have reached the semi-final stage of the European Cup for the second successive year, after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Red Star Belgrade and advancing 5-4 on aggregate.

6 February 1958, 08:07
Reaction is coming in from Yugoslavia following United's 3-3 draw against Belgrade, a result that puts the Reds into the semi-finals of the European Cup.

United's players found it difficult to deal with the referee's interpretation of the Laws of the Game. For example, Roger Byrne, United's captain and left-back, said: "We just stopped tackling. We dare not go in."

The Yugoslavs were generous in defeat. "Manchester United are an excellent team," claimed Red Star's right half, Mitic, "and in my view the better team qualified for the semi-finals." Their goalkeeper, the excellent Beara, confirmed this view. "We do not have the luck. They are better and deserved to qualify," he said.

United's manager, Matt Busby, was as generous in victory as Red Star were in defeat. "We were shocked by Red Star's terrific play and fitness in the second half," he told reporters. "We were all glad to hear the final whistle."

6 February 1958, 10:21
Despite the club's best efforts, Manchester United may still face a race against time - and the weather - to get back to England in good time for Saturday's match with table-topping Wolves.

Although the weather has improved in Belgrade, reports indicate that this time the team's private aircraft may face difficult conditions in Munich, where the 'plane is scheduled to refuel.

We will bring you more news on this story as it becomes available.

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Re: The story leading up to February 6th, 1958

Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:44 pm


100% Top Red

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Re: The story leading up to February 6th, 1958

Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:00 am

Although the weather has improved in Belgrade, reports indicate that this time the team's private aircraft may face difficult conditions in Munich, where the 'plane is scheduled to refuel.
if only they had known...

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Re: The story leading up to February 6th, 1958

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:36 am

Reading these accounts this was accident waiting to happen.

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