Crash kills Busby Babes

The Munich disaster

February 6: From Munich came some of the most terrible news in British sporting history. An airliner carrying Manchester United back from Belgrade crashed on its second attempt to lift off from a snow-covered runway. As the plane hit a building and broke in half, the carnage was appalling. Seven members of the squad known as the Busby Babes were killed plus three members of the club staff and eight reporters covering the match.

Duncan EdwardsDuncan Edwards, Dudley's golden boy of football and England left-half, was critically injured and died in hospital on February 21. The others who died were captain Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor, David Pegg, Bill Whelan, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones and Geoff Bent. Manager Matt Busby was close to death in hospital but made a good recovery.

March 18. The party was over but it was not yet quite time to call it a day. Debutantes who curtsied before the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh became the last to do so as it was felt the practice was outmoded in the New Elizabethan age. Coming-out balls have stood the test of time and have been going on ever since although they no longer make front page news.

April 7. A new era of protest was ushered in with the first CND march from London to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermarston in Berkshire 50 miles away. The 3,000 anti-hydrogen bomb marchers arrived to the sound of a skiffle group playing "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Only about 600 of these had walked the entire distance, with the majority of travellers joining in as it was within sight of the research establishment gates. Some of the bearded men and bright-stockinged women even contrived to march the other way, arriving without a musical fanfare at Trafalgar Square. The march was to become a good natured Easter holiday tradition in the late fifties and early sixties.

April 19. Wolves started a glorious era -in which they became the only side to score 100 goals in four successive seasons - by winning the league championship. The boys in black and gold overcame an indifferent start to the campaign to race away with the title by more than five points from runners-up Preston North End.

Average attendances at Molineux were more than 37,000 with 55,000 present to watch the local derby with West Brom. And just for good measure the Wolves second team won the Central League while the youngsters won the FA Youth Cup.

September 9. Petrol bombs and milk bottles were thrown when race riots flared for the first time in Britain at the annual Notting Hill carnival in west London. Trouble flared when a group of white youths taunted black carnival goers with racist slogans and rioting lasted throughout the night. Nearly 60 people appeared at special court hearings the next day while journalists and TV crews were asked to consider if they had done anything to inflame the situation.


In brief

January 7. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and two other senior treasury ministers including Enoch Powell resigned in protest over government spending levels. Macmillan lofily dismissed the political sensation of the year as a "little local difficulty".

March 16. The controversial Bishop of Woolwich claimed that women who worked full time were the enemies of family life.

March 24. Elvis signed up for a two-year stint in the American armed forces.

June 14. A new British tennis star first hit the headlines as teenager Christine Truman helped Britain secure the Wightman Cup for the first time in 28 years.

June 29. Brazil won the World Cup with an overwhelming 5-2 win over their Swedish hosts.

July 16. Shopkeepers in Walsall were angered by a parking ban on the occasion of the Territorial Army jubilee parade.

July 26. Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales by the Queen although it would be another 11 years before he was officially invested.

July 28. Wolverhampton's streets were declared the untidiest in the West Midlands.

September 3. Martin Luther King alleged brutality by the police after they arrested him for loitering in Alabama.

October 9. West Midlands catholics lead the tributes following the death of Pope Pius X11.

October 20. Codsall man Norman Freight was among the victims of a British tanker which blew up in the Arabian Sea.