Updated: Tuesday, 20th November 2018 @ 12:36pm

Remember, remember… Former Manchester United great and Munich air crash hero Bill Foulkes dies aged 81

Remember, remember… Former Manchester United great and Munich air crash hero Bill Foulkes dies aged 81

By Tom Pilcher

The former Manchester United central defender Bill Foulkes, a survivor of the 1958 Munich air crash who helped passengers from the burning wreckage that claimed the lives of 23 people, has died aged 81.

Foulkes, who joined the club in 1950 and played 688 times in 18 seasons, is fourth on the list of most United appearances behind midfielders Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Bobby Charlton.

He won four league titles as part of manager Matt Busby's side, was part of the 1968 European Cup winning team and made one appearance for England.

Bobby Charlton, who also survived the crash and went on to help England win the 1966 World Cup, later recalled coming round from being knocked unconscious and realising that Foulkes and fellow player Harry Gregg were helping people to escape from the plane wreckage.

"It was a very brave thing to do, the plane was on fire and broken in half," Charlton was quoted as saying on the club’s website.

"Those two ought to be thanked for what they did."

Eight players and three club officials were among those who died when the plane carrying them home from a European Cup tie in Belgrade crashed after refueling at Munich Airport on February 6 1958.

"Bill was a giant character in the post-war history of Manchester United. His contribution over almost 700 games and nearly 20 years will never be forgotten," said Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman.

"He was a very gentle man, whom I was privileged to meet on several occasions, including most memorably with his team mates at the Champions League final in Moscow, 50 years after his heroics in the Munich air crash."

Image courtesy of Manchester Red via YouTube, with thanks.

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