Memorial honouring South Shields-born victim of Munich air disaster unveiled

A memorial plaque honouring a footballer from South Shields has been unveiled '“ 60 years after he died in one of the sport's biggest tragedies.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 11:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 11:30 am
From left to right, Tom Curry's grand-daughters Jennie Dixon, Liz Esser and Jean Wilton unveil a plaque in his honour. Picture by Paul Husband.

Tom Curry was one of 23 people killed in the Munich air disaster of 1958.

He was then a coach with Manchester United, who had been travelling back from a European Cup quarter-final second leg against Red Star Belgrade when disaster struck.

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Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of the tragedy, which also claimed the lives of eight of the club’s players – dubbed ‘The Busby Babes’.

As part of the commemorations, Trafford Council approved a blue plaque to be built in Tom’s name at the house where he lived for 24 years in Manchester.

He lived there with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children George, Thomas and Elizabeth, opposite St Teresa’s School in Firswood, Manchester.

It was within a short walking distance of Manchester United’s ground at Old Trafford.

From left to right, Tom Curry's grand-daughters Jennie Dixon, Liz Esser and Jean Wilton unveil a plaque in his honour. Picture by Paul Husband.

Three of Tom’s grand-daughters, Jennie Dixon, Liz Esser and Jean Wilton, unveiled the plaque.

Tom was born in September 1894 in South Shields, and spent his life immersed in the world of football.

He played football for local teams St Michael’s and Parkside in his teens before signing for Newcastle United aged 18. His career was delayed by the First World War, during which he served as a sergeant with the Royal Engineers, and went on to play for and coach Manchester United.

Services to honour those lost in the Munich air disaster were held on Tuesday.

From left to right, Tom Curry's grand-daughters Jennie Dixon, Liz Esser and Jean Wilton unveil a plaque in his honour. Picture by Paul Husband.

The tragedy happened after the plane the squad and staff were travelling stopped to refuel in Munich on its way back from Belgrade. Two take-off attempts were aborted due to heavy snow, before a third ended in disaster.