In what was to be The Busby Babes’ last game, Manchester United took on Red Star Belgrade in having secured a 2-1 win in the first leg of the European Cup quarter final.
Goals from Bobby Charlton and Eddie Coleman gave United a 2-1 advantage in the first leg, although the score would have been higher if not for Red Star’s goalkeeper Beara according to Frank Taylor, author of The Day A Team Died.
A 1 goal lead was slender going into the return leg at the JNA Stadion in Belgrade but it looked like United would coast after Denis Voilet put us up inside 2 minutes.
20 minutes gone and it was 2-0 when Bobby Charlton added to his first leg goal with a thunderbolt and Charlton got his second of the game with a striking the ball through a crowded area and past Beara to make it 3 but Belgrade weren’t to be discouraged.
Just after the break Kostic bent an effort past Harry Gregg and their second came courtesy of a penalty after Bill Foulkes’ challenge on Tasic was deemed over zealous and Tasic hammered the ball home to crank up the pressure.
Red Star would get a third via the most fortunate of means though.
In the 87th minute with Zebec advancing on goal the brave Harry Gregg rushed out and stole the ball from his feet but such was his momentum and the pitch’s icy condition that he slid out of his box thus affording Red Star a freekick.
Watching Gregg position himself, Kostic threaded the ball to Gregg’s left, the side protected by the wall, and despite the Northern Irish keeper’s best efforts the ball nestled into the net making the score 3-3 and 5-4 on aggregate.
United would go on and face AC Milan in the semi finals but only after 8 players were killed in the plane crash known as the Munich Air Disaster. The game against Red Star would be the last for Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan.