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28 October 2014

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You are in: Manchester > History > History features > Busby Babes: in colour

Busby Babes

1957: Busby Babes in action

Busby Babes: in colour

The only colour film of the Busby Babes in existence shows the legendary young Manchester United side on its way to the League One title. Yet ten months later, half the team that played that day would die in the Munich Air Disaster.

19 April 1957: the mighty Manchester United featuring Busby Babe legends like Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Geoff Bent, and Billy Whelan lined up against Burney FC at Turf Moor.

Unusually for United, this rare colour footage shows the Reds playing in blue shirts in a season that saw them crowned league champions.

Busby Babes

United played in blue

These were the days before video, but a forward thinking management team at Burnley FC asked local film maker Sam Hanna to record their game against United, so they could analyse their mistakes.

Using a hand held Bolex 16mm cine camera loaded with colour film, Sam stood on the touchline and filmed what was, in effect, the first ever training video!

Poignant

Sam became known as the 'Lowry of film-making' for his passion for recording local craftsmen on film. However, having little interest in football, Sam Hanna commented on how fast the game was and how difficult it was to keep up with the action.

But his film of the Busby Babes turned out to be one of the most remarkable and poignant pieces of footage Sam Hanna ever shot. Just ten months later half of the United team that played that day would die in the Munich Air Disaster.

The film of the Busby Babes is a poignant and sad reminder of the loss football suffered because of the Munich disaster.

Manchester United went on to finish champions of Division 1. Some things never change...

last updated: 19/03/2008 at 15:30
created: 09/01/2008

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