An historic and poignant 1957 football signed by the Manchester United team and management comes up at Whyte’s sale of Sport and Entertainment memorabilia in Dublin on December 13 and 14. Among the signatories are seven of the eight players who died in the Munich air disaster in February 1958. Their names are marked by an asterisk on the following list. It is signed by Matt Busby, *Geoff Bent, Johnny Berry, *Roger Byrne, Jackie Blanchflower, Joe Carolan, Bobby Charlton, Jack Crompton, *Duncan Edwards, Ian Greaves, *Mark Jones, Noel McFarlane, *David Pegg, Albert Scanlon, *Tommy Taylor, *Liam Whelan. This sad memento of happier days for an ill-fated team is estimated at 6,000-8,000.
When Shamrock Rovers won the League of Ireland in 1957 they were the first Irish club to qualify for the European Cup. They were drawn against Manchester United. Shamrock Rovers hosted Manchester United at home in Milltown for the first leg and lost 6-0. They travelled to Old Trafford for the 2nd leg on October 2, 1957. Rovers lost 3-2. After the game a member of the team was presented with a football signed by the Manchester United team and management. Busby’s Babes went on to win the second round of the Cup against Dukla Prague and progressed to meet Red Star Belgrade in the third round. It was while returning to England from the away leg against Red Star Belgrade, in February 1958, that the team’s plane crashed after a refuelling stop in Munich. The football is from a descendant of a Shamrock Rovers team member.