Munich air disaster
The Munich clock at Old Trafford stands still at time of disaster.

Liverpool Football Club have sought to calm tensions ahead of next month's visit of Manchester United by marking the anniversary of the 1958 Munich air disaster on Twitter.

The post from Liverpool's official Twitter account, shows the Munich clock at Old Trafford which is set at the time of the air disaster which claimed 23 lives.

The tweet draws reference to a rivalry between Liverpool and United which has seen the both sets of supporters distastefully taunt their rivals with references to the disaster in Munich and the Hillsborough tradegy in which 96 Reds fans were killed.

Liverpool host United in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday 16 March.

On 6 February 1958 British European Airways flight 609, carrying the United team, supporters and journalists, crashed after attempting to take off from an icy Munich-Riem Airport runway.

As many as 23 of the 44 passengers on board lost their lives in a tragedy that would be marked annually by the club whose 1958 team, nicknamed the 'Busby Babes', lost eight players returning from a European Cup match in Yugoslavia.

In recent years Liverpool fans have used the tragedy to gibe at United fans, who have responded with chants referring to Hillsborough.

Hostilities were put on hold between the two clubs during last season's meeting at Anfield between the two clubs, which marked the 25th anniversary of the disaster which saw a surviving member from Munich, Sir Bobby Charlton, lay a wreath before kick-off.

Before the game, then United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wrote to travelling supporters urging for them to refrain from referring to the tragedy and though the match was unaffected, visiting fans were heard after the game repeating the repugnant chants.

Liverpool were forced to apologise after a post on the club's official Twitter page in August last year appeared to mock the Munich disaster, resulting in the suspension of a member of the club's online staff and prompting others to call for an end to the insensitive song-singing.

Sandy Busby, son of the late United manager Sir Matt Busby who survived the crash said: "My heart goes out to the Liverpool fans who were affected by Hillsborough because I know what it's like.

"All I hope now is the two sets of fans - the minorities that are still out there - can stop these awful songs. It's sick and it's sad and it's a shame.

"People think it washes over you but it doesn't. If the people who sing them could stand in the shoes of the relatives of those who died in these tragedies then maybe they would think twice."

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler added: "There is a lot of animosity in football these days but there is no place for that kind of chanting. We have all heard the songs but, thankfully, the majority of fans would never sing about tragedies and we can only hope they set the example going forward."

Liverpool will hope the tweet will go some way to soothing the strain in relationship between themselves and United, an association which has been regularly tested over the years.