Mike Robinson has hailed the efforts of those who rebuilt Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club in the immediate aftermath of the 1974 air disaster.
The 40th anniversary of the fatal Turkish Airlines Flight 981 — which claimed the lives of all 345 people on board, including 18 players and officials from the club — will be marked on March 3.
Ahead of an emotional week for Bury, chairman Robinson paid tribute to the foundations put in place for the team to be a successful National League outfit for the first time in their history.
“It may not be as raw as it was, but it is obviously still an extremely poignant part of the club’s history,” he said. “The club suffered massively in the early weeks after and for a number of following years.
“The people who were left to run the club at the time had a lot on their shoulders and we owe a lot to those men.
“We owe our roots to those who kept the club going.
“Our success has been built from the foundations of those before us over a long time and the critical thing is that those people were able to keep the club going at that difficult time.
“By achieving what we are now, you hope that those who lost their lives would be proud of where the club has grown to and what we are today.”
The club will be marking the anniversary in a number of ways — including a bike ride in May and a dinner for the visit of East Grinstead on March 8 — and Robinson is keen for today’s generation to cherish the memories of those who were lost.
“It is about the current generation, out of respect, trying to mark the events of the past and make sure those people are not forgotten,” he added. “We want to cherish those memories to show that the club still remembers those who lost their lives and always will do.”
n “I often wonder how my friends would look now.”— John’s story.