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.
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
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