Roger Byrne

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 It’s sad to see a BBC documentary
“United”, a re-telling of the Munich tragedy
Descending to Hollywood-style inaccuracy
Its selectivity is plainly a travesty

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Roger Byrne was the Babes’ inspirational captain
But here its Mark Jones, and Byrne’s role is zapped into
One little mention, as the film is wrapped into
Edwards and Charlton and what around them was happening

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Nothing against the colossus that was Duncan
And Sir Bobby, the soul of United now since Munchen
And Mark Jones, although he wasn’t that dressing-room pipe muncher
But now let’s focus on some other Busby Bunchers

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Roger Byrne captained the Babes quietly but inspired
And would have surely captained England when Billy Wright retired
When he tackled he was fast, man, he was fast, he was on fire
Under his steady leadership the Babes kept moving higher

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Tommy Taylor, England regular, got one mention, that was mean,
He could swivel like Dalglish and he could head like Dean
And what about Bill Foulkes, who survived the tragic scene
And stepped up to the mark the next few years to lead the team

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 Liam Whelan, high-stepping inside right for Eire
And Geoff Bent, Byrne’ understudy, were transferred to heaven’s care
With Frank Swift, the Citizens’ greatest keeper of his era
Twenty-three in all, officials, journos, crew and passengers

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Viollet, Wood, Scanlon, Morgans, they survived and kept on playing
But for Berry and for Blanchflower it was never the same
Their injuries meant they were excluded from the game
Even from their club apartments, a disunited shame.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 So yes let’s honor Edwards, Charlton and Mark Jones
Stylish David Pegg, hula dancer Eddie Colman
Hero Harry Gregg, who’s also criticized this programme
“United” in which more accuracy could have been shown


The BBC programme “United”, about the Munich Tragedy, has just been shown for the first time in Indonesia, where I live. Although I thought the portrayal of Jimmy Murphy, and the tension of the plane’s take-offs, were great, I was very disappointed with its selectivity and inaccuracy, especially when Mark Jones was incredibly named as team captain, instead of Roger Byrne.

I’m an Evertonian, but as a kid I played left back, and Roger Byrne was my hero. He was calm and unassuming, but as a left-back he’s up there with Ray Wilson, Roberto Carlos and Maldini. There’s an article by Byrne in FA Book for Boys, 1957? (and one by Duncan Edwards) which shows what an intelligent reader of the game he was.

So this poem is an attempt to rectify the balance, and do justice to Byrne, and Foulkes and Taylor etc, who were given scant treatment in “United.”

I’m nearly 70 now, and as I look back one of the things I will be always grateful for was seeing the Busby Babes (beating Wrexham 5-0 in the Cup). These were the immortals: Wood, Foulkes, Byrne (Captain), Colman, Jones, Edwards, Berry, Whelan, Taylor, Viollet, Pegg.

R.I.P, Flowers of Manchester
Editor Note: Agreed Dachlan, but still a brave and difficult attempt at reflecting this sad moment in time. As a Chelsea fan I vividly remember waking to the papers filled with searing black and white Daily Express images of snow and plane wreckage. I became a joint Man U/Chelsea asupporter for a long while after that. There are more Munich Remembered poems (along with Hilssborough poem s)in our Your Team Poems in March+Memoiries section in Butler’s Bench .Just open it and scroll down .


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/roger-byrne/