Sir Bobby Charlton leads Harry Gregg tribute after the death of the former Manchester United goalkeeper
“I was proud to call him a teammate”: Sir Bobby Charlton leads Harry Gregg tribute after former Manchester United goalkeeper and survivor of air disaster in Munich dies at the age of 87
- Former Man United goalkeeper Harry Gregg died on Sunday at the age of 87
- Gregg was one of the last two survivors of the Munich air disaster
- Gregg was a tough but decent man and remained a United fan until the end
Sir Bobby Charlton led the tribute to Harry Gregg, the hero of the Munich disaster in 1958, yesterday.
Gregg, the former keeper of Manchester United and Northern Ireland, died in Belfast on Sunday at the age of 87.
He was on board with the rest of Matt Busby’s squad when their plane crashed when taking off in Munich on February 6, 1958. A total of 23 players, aircraft crew and civilians were killed, but the toll would have been higher if Gregg had not returned twice to the burning hull to bring people to safety.
Only 25 then Gregg rescued colleagues Charlton and Dennis Viollet, as well as a 20-month-old baby and her seriously injured, pregnant mother, Vera Lukic, the wife of a Yugoslav diplomat.
Sir Bobby Charlton led the tribute to Harry Gregg after the death of the former goalkeeper of Man United
Sir Alex Ferguson also paid tribute to Gregg and said that he “liked to listen to his stories”
Gregg survived the Munich air disaster but carried it for the rest of his life
Charlton, the only survivor of the crash, said: “My wife Lady Norma and I are deeply saddened by the death of Harry Gregg. I was proud to call him a teammate. About all the factual things that Harry said about that night in Munich, for me he will always be remembered as a heroic figure. He was a shining light on and next to the field.
“For so many reasons, he deserves to be remembered as one of the biggest names in United’s history. Harry will be deeply missed. “
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Harry was a man with a great character and a real legend in our club.
“I remember that he was always very excited and proud to receive our youth team every summer in his guest house for the Milk Cup, so he could tell the stories of his playing days.
Gregg pulled survivors out of the wreck after United’s plane crashed on February 5, 1958
“I loved his company and the many advice he gave me. My thoughts and prayers are with Carolyn and his family. God bless Harry. “
Gregg became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he moved from Doncaster to Old Trafford in 1957 for £ 23,000. He played 247 times for United in his nine years at the club and 25 times for his country.
After he had left two years before the rebuilt Busby team won the European Cup in 1968, Gregg went on to lead Shrewsbury, Swansea, Crewe and Carlisle. He also had a spell at United as a goalkeeper coach.
He recently founded the Harry Gregg Foundation that offers sporting opportunities for young people in Northern Ireland.
A close friend of George Best, Gregg was one of the box bearers when he died in 2005. Best had previously referred to Gregg as “my hero.”
Gregg left United before the club won the European Cup in 1968 and spent a season in Stoke City