Manchester United will continue to honour the memory of former manager Sir Matt Busby in the directors’ box at Old Trafford.
An online petition was started following a report the plaques on the seats used by Busby, and subsequently his children and grandchildren, had been removed.
The Manchester Evening News reported the plaques were taken off the seats but Press Association Sport says the four plates bearing the name Busby have been given to the family at their request, adding United will have a new plaque made for the seat which Busby sat in, similar to those which were created to mark the achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton.
The news will be welcomed by Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), who encouraged the club to reconsider the removal.
“We’d advise the club to reconsider their decision,” Ian Stirling, vice-chairman of MUST told the Daily Telegraph. “Supporters rightly recognise and value the contribution Sir Matt and his family have made to the history of our club.
“The removal of the plaque is insensitive and it should be restored. We hope the club can suitably accommodate the needs of the Busby family on match days as all supporters want to see the family honoured and Sir Matt remembered.”
Following Busby’s death in 1994 the directors’ box seats were transferred to his children Sandy and Sheena, who both died in the 2014-15 season.
United made the seats available to Busby’s grandchildren for one more year and then offered six (three apiece) complimentary season tickets in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand plus free hospitality.
“The club continues to provide tickets and hospitality for the descendants of Sir Matt but with the passing of his children that hospitality will continue in the Warwick Suite,” said a statement from Manchester United.
“My dad always said it was a privilege to have those box tickets,” Amanda Eustace, one of Busby’s granddaughters, told the Manchester Evening News.
“We have been extremely grateful to United for what they have given us over the past years. We do still have season tickets, which is absolutely fantastic.”
Busby revived the Red Devils after the devastating 1958 Munich air disaster in which he was seriously hurt and which claimed 23 lives, including eight players, and went on to win the club’s first European Cup a decade later.
He also won the league title five times and the FA Cup twice and when he retired the club gave him seats in the directors’ box, where a plaque was placed to mark his achievements.
A bronze statue of Busby was erected outside Old Trafford in 1996 and one of the roads to the stadium is named after him.
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