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Let's Do It For The Busby Babes !!!!!

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RYAN GIGGS ON THE TRAGEDY THAT STILL DRIVES UNITED ON 'Conquering Europe again would be the perfect way to mark 50th anniversary of Munich'

Ryan Giggs was raised on tales of Matt Busby and his Babes when he was growing up in the Manchester United heartland of Salford.

And as the club prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, the 33-year-old winger feels there would be no better way for their current players to pay tribute than by winning the Champions League.

"Everybody knows what becoming champions of Europe again would mean to the club - in this season more than any," said Giggs.

He was taking time out from United's pre-season Far East tour to launch the Manchester United Foundation's new fundraising initiative for British charities.

As a youngster, Giggs would listen with wonder as his grandmother regaled him with the tale of triumph and tragedy on which the most famous club of all was built.

She told him how Busby's United were England's pioneers when it came to European football, defying the orders of the Football League to take up their place alongside the champions of the continent in 1956.

And how on February 6, 1958, the world mourned as Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan perished in their prime.

"The Busby era and what happened at Munich is the most important part of this club's history," said Giggs.

"Everyone knows about what happened in 1958. Not just local lads who grew up supporting United, but every signing who comes to the club. They all know the history of the Babes.

"Tours like this one stem from that era. It's the reason we've got so many fans around the world.

"Football has changed so much over the last 50 years and it makes me realise how lucky I am.

"These days we have firstclass travel, we stay in the best hotels and we are all so well looked after.

"Going back to the days of the Busby Babes, it used to take them two flights just to get across Europe.

"I can only speak for myself, but when see the Munich clock outside Old Trafford I always think about the people who died in the tragedy.

"Fifty years on and it is still the biggest part of Manchester United, so to win the Champions League this season would be a really fitting tribute for the current players to pay.

"Certainly as a United player and as a supporter, I want to do well even more this season because of the anniversary."

Ten years after the disaster, United were crowned European champions for the first time and, with a new crop of players, Busby had reached his nirvana.

Then in 1999, the day which would have marked Sir Matt's 90th birthday was celebrated with a dramatic Champions League Final victory over Bayern Munich.

Giggs said: "I think Sir Alex Ferguson thinks there is definitely room for at least one more European Cup.

"We have gone close a few times since 1999, only to fail to take that extra step.

"Either we haven't been good enough, we've had injuries, or we've just not had the luck. Everything has to go for you to win it, like it did eight years ago.

"We played very well that season, we had very few injuries and then got that bit of good fortune every team needs when we were losing to Bayern in the last few minutes of the Final."

Giggs is already the most decorated player in United's history and, when he won his ninth championship medal in May, he claimed with it another record.

He enters the new season just 43 appearances away from equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's club record of 759.

The Welshman is not one to let sentiment stand in the way of success, but there seemed to be a tinge of regret in Giggs's voice as he contemplated taking away such a landmark from a man who survived Munich to become one of United's true greats.

Now aged 69 and still a director at Old Trafford, Charlton remains as revered as he ever was - as the scenes on the United tour in Tokyo, Seoul, Macau and Guangzhou over the past two weeks have proved.

Giggs said: "I don't really like talking about Sir Bobby's appearance record because it might not happen. He is such a special man, he is the history of United - all the way back to those days of the Busby Babes.

"For me personally, he has been a big source of help and advice, ever since I first met him at the age of 13 or 14.

"He would come and watch the junior and youth teams, as he still does to this day, and he'd always be there to give a word of encouragement or a bit of advice.

"To have that sort of person and player around for you gives you such a boost and just makes you feel you are at the right club - and stuff like that makes people want to sign for United."

He added: "I'm not usually sentimental about football, and even when we won the championship last season I did what I did for the previous eight by enjoying a little celebration then thinking about number 10.

"I don't mean to sound flippant or casual about winning the title, but my career might be over in the next year or two and then I will have 40 or 50 years to remember what I achieved.

"Until then, I will only look forward. Hopefully by then I will have got to 10 titles, and maybe even 11."
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We've got as good a chance as anyone this year, do it for the babes :p
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