On Wednesday it was 50 years since the Munich disaster. The Busby Babes' final game in England was a famous 5-4 victory at Highbury and we asked Arsenal.com visitors for their recollections of that game and that special team. Here are some of the emails we have had:

As usual when I went to school on Monday we had to write in our 'News' books what we did at the weekend and I wrote about going to the Arsenal. I can remember listening to the radio and hearing about the plane crash  when I got up on the morning of February 7. When I went to school it was all I could think and talk about because I had seen those players only a few days earlier. I kept crying and no-one could quite understand why. Of course there wasn't the media coverage as there would be today, most families didn't even have a television so the only photographs we saw of the crash were in the newspapers.
Tina Evans, Poole  

That United team played with a freedom and skill level that I had never seen. They were so young and Arsène's recent teams remind me of the way that team played. Duncan Edwards,Tommy Taylor and Roger Byrne were great players and Bobby Charlton was clearly going to be outstanding. The crash was a stunning tragedy and made even more poignant by having seen that great game at Highbury.I still have the programme and that for the next game in which I, as a 14-year old, had ringed the names of those who had died. The impact was huge and seeing all the programmes this week brings back the memories.
Tony Harbour, High Wycombe
 

They were the superstars of that time and us boys playing football on the street adopted their names as well as those of our Highbury heroes. Lots of people wore black armbands in the immediate aftermath of that sad event.
Ron McGarvey, Sandbach  

I was at that game as a 14-year old schoolboy. I used to catch the special bus from Peckham to Highbury for all the home games. I remember the game as though it was yesterday. Arsenal had been playing well and we thought that the excellent Stan Charlton should be England's next right back. Albert Scanlon destroyed him that day, making runs from the halfway line and speeding past him time and again. Stan was never the same again. It was the best game I ever saw at Highbury and Duncan Edwards, like a huge tank, dominated the game, although I remember him and Roger Byrne fouling winger Danny Clapton on numerous occasions! Man United were a fine side but it was their huge potential that we judge them by because they were nowhere at their peak and would have become probably the best side ever.
Frank Grace, Cumbria  

The game against United was the first game I went to without my dad. I was let down with a ticket so got the Tube with a friend and did not get to the ground until just before kick-off. There was a huge crowd but, as a 10 year old, we were passed through to the front. Unfortunately this took some time, we could see nothing but we heard the roar for the first United goal, then another for the second. By the time we got to the front we were 3-0 down, just as the first half ended. I seem to remember it being a bog of a pitch. The second half started and within five minutes or so we were level. Tremendous noise but United quickly got another couple of goals. We did score again but the game ended 4-5. United had Scanlan and Morgan on the wings and a very young Bobby Charlton, who was just establishing himself at the time.

A great but tragic memory. I am so glad that I got there, I so nearly didn't.
Michael Fisher, Hitchin  

My dad, Edward Sutton, who himself passed away two days after Arsenal won the 1998 Premiership title, used to always talk to me about this game. He continually spoke of this game as being the greatest that he had ever seen. He was a bondholder and season-ticket holder in the North Bank and he witnessed many wonderful games down the years at Highbury, but NONE had the impact on him that this game did. 
David Sutton  

They were the superstars of that time and us boys playing football on the street adopted their names as well as those of our Highbury heroes. Lots of people wore black armbands in the immediate aftermath of that sad event.

A great but tragic memory. I am so glad that I got there, I so nearly didn't.
Ron McGarvey, Sandbach  

That United team played with a freedom and skill level that I had never seen. They were so young and Arsène's recent teams remind me of the way that team played. Duncan Edwards,Tommy Taylor and Roger Byrne were great players and Bobby Charlton was clearly going to be outstanding. The crash was a stunning tragedy and made even more poignant by having seen that great game at Highbury.I still have the programme and that for the next game in which I, as a 14-year old, had ringed the names of those who had died. The impact was huge and seeing all the programmes this week brings back the memories. 
Tony Harbour, High Wycombe  

I was 15-years old and stood in the North Bank, to get my first sight of Duncan Edwards and the Busby Babes.  It wasn't just Edwards scoring that stood out, but his immense power as he carried the ball from United's half before putting an unstoppable shot past Jack Kelsey.  The pace and skill of the entire team was just too much for Arsenal of the day, and 3-0 at half-time was a fair reflection.

Man United were naturally very relaxed in the second half, but for the Gunners to level it at 3-3 was astonishing. Man United just upped the pace to win the most amazing match I have ever experienced 5-4, although the real impact was not obvious until after I learned of the crash in Munich.

I was an Arsenal trialist at the time and was on my way to Highbury on February 6 for training when I saw the front page of an evening newspaper with a picture of the crumpled plane in Munich.

The mood at training was quiet and sombre, and I remember Billy Milne, then the Gunners' trainer, sobbing in the dressing room, talking about how that magnificent team had been here just a few days before. Training was brought to an early close that evening, but the match, the events of February 6 and the sadness of losing so many talented footballers will always live with me.

May God bless them all.
Tony Brigden, East Bergholt, Suffolk  

This was my first game at Highbury, Being eight-years-old and football mad this was a great treat. With two pals we started the Saturday morning with pictures at the Angel then on to Highbury I had never before experienced so many people in one place the queues at the turnstiles were massive.
 
We thought there's no chance of us getting in we finally got into the Clock End at the back jumping up and down trying to see over the heads of thousands until one kind gent picked us up and started our trip over heads to the very front this was great. We were 3-0 down at half-time and our heads sunk but then a great transformation to 3-3. What a comeback. Then United hit us with two more but we were not going down without a fight. We nearly did it.

All three of us went home voices croaking but still able to give our version to our parents from that day on I became a true Arsenal supporter seeing so many great games and disappointments.  Sadly days after news came of the Munich disaster how I felt and millions more of this sad loss of life in football I was unashamed to shed a tear but proud to think I had seen the Busby Babes play Arsenal.
Stuart Winyard, London
 

I was 12-years old and in those days I regularly travelled on my own from Brookmans Park on the train to Finsbury Park then a walk down to Highbury past Alex James' shop and the Finsbury Park Empire, where invariably Billy Cotton and his band would top the bill. It was perfectly safe, in those days for a young boy to walk the streets with his scarf, rosette and rattle and all rival supporters enjoyed a friendly rivalry!

I remember it was a cold grey afternoon but the excitement of a visit from the "Busby Babes" set the heart racing. We were silently hoping for the miracle of a good result for the" Gunners" but realistically we knew it was a forlorn hope. The team was enjoying a very poor season and had been humiliatingly knocked out of the Cup by Northampton Town, so it looked like a cakewalk for the Manchester boys and it looked like our worst fears were to be realised as the brilliant Babes swept to a 3-0 halftime lead. Even Jack Kelsey (in my opinion Arsenal's greatest keeper) made a couple of uncharacteristic errors!
The Gunners had no answer to the likes of Edwards, Taylor, Pegg, Scanlon etc.

I can't think of many times being so excited and happy after a defeat but the entire crowd knew they had witnessed that once in a life time moment of magic and the memory still gives me goosebumps. Just a few days later listening to the news bulletins, opening the treasured programme and ringing the names of those who had perished with tears streaming down my face. I was privileged to be at Highbury that afternoon!
Alan Lee, Victoria, Australia  

As a regular on the North Bank at Highbury from 1955 until the present time at the Emirates I was fortunate as a 15-year old boy to witness this great game. I have always thought that this was one of the best matches I have ever seen, not because of the subsequent tragic events, but because of the actual game itself. The sheer excitement following our unbelievable second half comeback in front of the North Bank after being three down at half time. The standard of football played by both sides on a mud bath of a pitch and, despite losing, the feeling on walking down the terraces at the end of the match that it would be a very long time before I would ever see such a game again.

We had a wonderful team ourselves at the time but were so envious of the 'Babes' and their all round talent. There was not a weakness to be seen anywhere in their 11 that day. When I heard of the plane crash the following Thursday I felt so sorry for the club, their families and supporters yet so privileged to be have seen their last display on English soil albeit at Highbury and not Old Trafford as it should surely have been. 
David Clifford, London  

I was fortunate enough to be at the match on February 1st 1958.  I sat in the Western Enclosure, immediately opposite the Directors' Box in the east stand.

Among others in the enclosure that day were bandleader Geraldo, disk-jockey Pete Murray and his friend Leslie Wise, and  I think Dai Rees the professional from South Herts Golf Club, Ralph Reader of Scout Gang Show and others.  

At the end of this incredible, exhilarating game we all agreed it was probably the best and most thrilling match any of us had ever witnessed, in spite of the fact that we were beaten.  We were, of course, unaware of the heartbreaking and poignant reason we would still be discussing the match 50 years later.

I send sincere best wishes to all those affected by the tragedy.
Cy Saunders, Lymington, Hampshire  

I was at the game in 1958 - and can still recall the euphoria of pulling back those three goals in just three minutes.  Hardly had the cheering for a goal subsided than we were on our feet raising the roof again - and again!!  To lose against that magnificent Manchester United side was no disgrace - on the contrary to run them so close that afternoon was UNFORGETABLE. Perhaps, in part that was because of the events that followed - but, notwithstanding, how often has anyone, at any game, ever seen their team come back from three goals down in only 3 minutes before or since?  That we lost is of no consequence - we were there!
 
Up the Gunners!
Ted Thibalt, Brighton  

I had the honour of being at Highbury a few days before when United played their last game in England before flying off for the European game. At the time United were the best team in England and probably Europe while Arsenal to be honest were only average. However, somehow they played above themselves and the two clubs produced a game of football that was and still is the greatest game of football I have seen. 
 
There were more than 60,000 fans in the stadium but I swear not one left before the end and when the referee brought the game to an end the whole crowd stood and cheered both teams off the field and the players who sensed they had played in a special game walked off arm in arm.
Gerry Swain, Rainham  

I was aged 10 and, as is the case today, the Manchester United game was the most eagerly awaited every season. Although a young boy, this game made an immense impression on me and, as a result of the tragic event a few days later, still remains very vivid in my memory today. From 3-0 down; back to 3-3; then 5-3 before finally losing 5-4.
 
I was awarded a special prize for the essay I had published in my junior school magazine after the Munich disaster. Entitled "The Person I Would Most like to Meet" it recounted how I would have liked to meet (Sir) Matt Busby. His survival for life certainly made an impression on me.
Duncan Vesey, London  

I was at this most remarkable and amazing match. I must admit at that time I was jealous of the United team. They were great and were almost unbeatable whereas Arsenal were in an indifferent transition period.

Who can forget this match! Arsenal, three goals down at half time and no way back.  However, within 10 minutes of the restart Arsenal had drawn level with three goals in as many minutes.  Then United hit back and led 5-3. The home team do score again and come within a whisker of equalising as the United post is hit. Final score 4-5. What a game.  No yellow, red cards or crowd trouble!!
 
Then the horror of the following week.    Not only all the players that were lost but the well known reporters, especially Frank Swift a truly larger than life character who I would hear on Sports Report or read his articles in the Sunday papers.
Bernard Chaplin, Ilford  

I was a 12-year-old Arsenal supporter and watched this match from my normal vantage point on the North Bank.  I have seen many great games at Highbury over the years but this one has always stood out in my memory.  The fact that Arsenal lost was almost irrelevant because those of us who had the privilege of being there witnessed a great game played by fantastic players which we have remembered all our lives.  The news of the lives lost in the crash was even more poignant for us all as they, yes, Manchester United players, had given us so much pleasure just five days earlier.

I think we all supported that club at least a little bit whilst they reformed and under Matt Busby built a new great side.  How times have changed but for those of us who can look back on that match on 1st February 1958 we can feel pleasure that we were there but the sadness of subsequent events has come flooding back.
Bernard Lovewell, Hitchin  

I was at the game 50 years ago, aged 20, a year younger than Duncan Edwards, and my recollection of the day was what a thrilling and unforgettable game it was. We had had a pretty poor season up to this point but turned the corner after our tremendous fight back in that game.

However, it all paled into insignificance as a result of the terrible tragedy a few days later and I firmly believe that whichever team one supported the whole nation of football supporters were united in grief.
Jeff Kill, South Croydon  

I was 11-years old at the start of 1958. I was born in Manchester and my family were all Manchester City fans. But I had switched to Manchester United, attracted by the press reports and the coverage in football magazines about the exciting Busby Babes.

The family had moved to Hitchin, North Hertfordshire, and my school friend - who lived four houses away - was an Arsenal fan. His father invited me to go to a football match with them. It was Arsenal v Manchester United on 1 February 1958. I can remember being very excited. I had never been to a 'big' football match before.

I have some faint recollections of the day - walking from Finsbury Park to Highbury, the huge crowds, and sitting in seats that seemed to be really high up above the pitch. I had seen the Busby Babes in action. But I had also seen other great players - names I knew from Charlie Buchan's Football Monthly. Players like Jack Kelsey, David Herd, Derek Tapscott, Dave Bowen, Vic Groves.

I then remember - a few days later - coming home in the evening from a piano lesson to hear the radio reports of the Munich crash. It just didn't seem possible. If didn't seem fair. I often travel into London on the train, with Highbury in the distance - and now the impressive Emirates Stadium close by. As the train passes Highbury, I often think about that match and wonder what Duncan Edwards - and the others - might have achieved.
Geoff Platt, Hitchin  

I was there, a skinny little 13 year-old, on my usual spot of terrace, squeezed up against the railings at the bottom of the North Bank, just to the left of the goal. Clutching my sixpenny programme, in which I used to scrawl the numbers of the goals in sequence against the players' names - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 that day. I had to be down the front, it was the only way I could see anything - but it did mean I had my nose more or less at pitch level. Not much sense of perspective there!

United were the strongest, fastest, most skilful and best organised team I had seen. I'd read about them, of course, but I was blown away   by the way they played. And so were Arsenal. 3-0 down by half-time and it could have been more - in fact it should have been more. My  clearest memory of an individual moment in the match is when, just  before half-time, Tommy Taylor lobbed Jack Kelsey from outside the  area and the ball looped towards us, heading for the empty goal.

Watching Duncan Edwards was part of my football education. He was massive in the first half, in which United played towards us; we couldn't stop him, and we couldn't get the ball off him. I wanted him in a red-and-white shirt; even more, I wanted to be him. What is hard to get a grip on is that no-one at the match had the faintest idea that it was the last time we'd ever see half the United  team. It was just another match, another defeat to United - still one of the most exciting games I've ever seen. Five days later it became historic.
Michael Shade, East Sussex  

I was at Highbury for the Man United game. What a game. I came home from school on that fateful day and cried my heart out when I heard the news. I went to the cup final that season and wept again when united lost. But I am Gooner forever.
John Tribe, Notts  

Thank you for giving me the opportunity of giving my recollections of that week.
 
I was 14 and was a keen supporter, living in Ruislip. Three of us from school went to the match on the Saturday. Bob was also an Arsenal supporter and Willy was a United fan. It was the first time I had seen the "Busby Babes" live and I had been excited all week.
   
I don't recall too much detail about the match itself except Duncan Edwards' goal which was from about 20 yards and stayed about two foot off the ground for the whole of its length. We got a bit excited when Arsenal managed to fight back but then United applied the pressure again and drew away. 
 
Since then I have been privileged to watch several significant matches live - 1966 World cup Final; Dundee v Milan in Semi-Final of European Cup: Charlie's goal to beat Liverpool in the Cup Final; the end of the run of "The Invincibles" at Old Trafford - but I always say that match in February, 1958 had the most lasting effect on me.  
Roger Saines, Birmingham

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 7 Feb 2008