The Flowers of Manchester

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
Eight great football stalwarts conceded victory,
Eight men who will never play again who met destruction there,
The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Matt Busby’s boys were flying, returning from Belgrade,
This great United family, all masters of their trade,
The Pilot of the aircraft, the skipper Captain Thain,
Three times they tried to take off and twice turned back again.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 The third time down the runaway disaster followed close,
There was a slush upon that runaway and the aircraft never rose,
It ploughed into the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned.
And eight of the team were killed as the blazing wreckage burned.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor who were capped for England’s side.
And Ireland’s Billy Whelan and England’s Geoff Bent died,
Mark Jones and Eddie Colman, and David Pegg also,
They all lost their lives as it ploughed on through the snow.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Big Duncan he went to, with an injury to his frame,
And Ireland’s brave Jack Blanchflower will never play again,
The great Sir Matt Busby lay there, the father of his team
Three long months passed by before he walked again.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 The trainer, coach and secretary, and a member of the crew,
Also eight sporting journalists who with United flew,
and one of them Big Swifty, who we’ll ne’er forget,
the finest English ‘keeper that ever graced the net.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Oh, England’s finest football team its record truly great,
its proud successes mocked by a cruel turn of fate.
Eight men will never play again, who met destruction there,
the flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester



Lest we Forget. I wanted to publish this wonderful poem/song , stil sung today and every year around Feb 6th . Writtten by Eric Winter 1920-2000

The Flowers of Manchester

“The Flowers Of Manchester” was sent into a folk magazine, Sing, anonymously in October 1958. A more complete explanation of the history of the song can be found here.

It was originally recorded by The Spinners on their album ‘Quayside Songs Old and New’ on an old HMV-CLP1500 educational label issued in 1962. It was recorded at Cecil Sharp house by Peter Kennedy.

Phillips issued an EP on it’s Fontana label TE17493 in 1967 titled ‘Flowers of Manchester’. This EP also contained Manchester Rambler, Droylsden Wakes and Sunshine( a song for Lancashire CC ).

This was a live version, different to the earlier studio one and was the record that Mick Groves, a Salford lad and one of the five members of the original Spinners, has donated to the museum at Old Trafford.

It was re-released by The Spinners on their album “Black & White” ( Philips International 6382 047) where it was sung solo by Mick Groves. You can download a copy of Mick’s solo version from the Music category in our Download Centre

Hanky Park, a Lancashire-based folk duo, recorded a version and this can be downloaded from their site. This version was played over the PA at Old Trafford in February 2004 and 2005.

Another version has been recorded by Terry Mechan. Listen live here.

Since 2001, fans have gathered under the Munich Memorial Plaque at Old Trafford prior to the home match nearest the anniversary to sing

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-flowers-of-manchester/