Wednesday, February 06, 2008

AC Torino and the Superga air disaster of 1949

Today's news has been full of accounts of the Munich air disaster, which took place 50 years ago on 6 February 1958.

Somehow it all feels longer ago than that, with the primitive flying conditions and the modest lifestyle of the players. Yet, as I have heard Bobby Charlton point out, Duncan Edwards would have been only 30 in 1966 and might well captained England in that World Cup.

But Munich is not the only football-related air disaster. In May 1949 the entire AC Torino team died when their plane crashed just outside the city as they returned from a friendly match against Benfica. The picture shows the memorial to the victims at Superga, where the crash took place.

Other sporting teams to perish in disasters, as chronicled on the BBC's h2g2 site (a forgotten forerunner to Wikipedia pioneered by the author Douglas Adams), include the US figure skating team in 1961 and amateur boxing team in 1980.

1 comment:

R N B said...

It's not a case of "my disaster is bigger than yours" but I am disappointed that in your picking of a few items from the h2g2 site you did not highlight the 1993 incident. It is not even about numbers killed. More than any other group of sportsmen, a national football team is the embodiment of a nation. Puts other sporting tragedy into perspective.