Bruno Fernandes says it is important Man United continue to mark Munich disaster

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes has pledged to keep the memory of the Busby Babes alive.

Sunday’s visit of West Ham is the closest fixture to the 66th anniversary of the Munich air disaster on February 6, which claimed 23 lives, including eight players.

It is also the first time without Sir Bobby Charlton, who was injured in the crash, following his death last year.

Fernandes said: “We know the demands of playing for Manchester United. It’s a legacy which is in the club.

“It’s a responsibility for everyone: managers, players, everyone involved in the staff to play in a certain way. But also to pay the most respect possible to those who have been at the club in the past.

“We want to pay our respects to those involved. They built the story of the club and, after that, even more. When bad things happen in your life you get tighter to those close to you.

“It’s going to be 66 years since the disaster and everyone is aware what was built after that and the whole situation around the club before and after.

“We’ve been educated since we arrived at the club to be aware of what happened. I’ve been to the museum with family and friends so we can know more about the history of the club.

“When you go you see everything, I have family and friends who are passionate about the club and when they come here they like to come to the museum. Most people in Portugal are aware of how it was at that time with the Busby Babes.

“Everyone is aware when they come to the club – because every year we pay our respects to those lost in the disaster – what happened. It’s a big part of the story of Manchester United.”

Erik ten Hag and women’s boss Marc Skinner will lead tributes at their fixtures, laying commemorative wreaths. Players will also wear black armbands, while families of the victims will be at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Ten Hag said: “Munich was a disaster for the club and how the club recovered from it, how individuals recovered from it. It was great from such a disaster to survive it and a couple of years later you’re lifting the biggest trophy in European football, that is immense.

“We should always remember this, this is the legacy why Manchester United exist and what we should match as a club, as a team, as an individual.”