The Day A Team Died, by Frank Taylor

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The Independent Culture

"Tragedy" is a word sports journalists should use with extreme care, but Frank Taylor had more justification than most when writing about the Munich air crash on 6 February 1958, which killed 23 people. The cream of Manchester United's Busby Babes perished, but so did eight of the nine journalists aboard; Taylor, then northern football correspondent of the 'News Chronicle', survived, but was left permanently disabled. His minute-by-minute eye-witness account of that fateful take-off and dreadful aftermath remains the definitive record, written when it was still painfully fresh in his mind (this is a reissue of his book originally published in 1960). He also pays tribute to the extraordinary efforts of the Munich hospital staff before moving on to chronicle the equally astonishing feat of Matt Busby in rebuilding a team to win the European Cup 10 years later. Taylor himself died in 2002, but his epitaph to those who perished on that freezing afternoon lives on.

Published by Souvenir Press in paperback, £9.99