Former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg dies aged 87

17 February 2020, 11:14

Manchester United and Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg pictured in 1957
Manchester United and Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg pictured in 1957. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Former Manchester United goalkeeper and Munich air disaster hero Harry Gregg has died aged 87.

The Northern Irish footballer was a survivor of the crash on February 6, 1958, in which 23 people were killed, and twice returned to the burning fuselage to drag team-mates and strangers to safety.

He rescued United team-mates Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet from the BEA Flight 609, as well as a 20-month old baby and her badly injured, pregnant mother.

His death was announced by the Harry Gregg Foundation on Monday morning.

They said in a statement: "It is with great sorrow that we inform of the death of Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg, OBE.

It is with great sorrow that we inform of the death of Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg, OBE,...

Posted by Harry Gregg Foundation on Sunday, 16 February 2020

"Harry passed away peacefully in hospital surrounded by his loving family.

"The Gregg family would like to thank the medical staff at Causeway Hospital for their wonderful dedication to Harry over his last few weeks. To everyone who has called, visited or sent well wishes we thank you for the love and respect shown to Harry and the family.

"Details of his funeral arrangement will be issued in the next few days.

"We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this difficult time. Never to be forgotten!"

Gregg became the world's most expensive keeper when United, and Sir Matt Busby, shelled out £23,000 in 1957 and was voted the best at the World Cup a year later.

Gregg in 1958
Gregg in 1958. Picture: PA

He spent nine years with the Red Devils and, although he never won a medal with the club, injury having ruled him out of the 1963 FA Cup final and restricted his appearances in two title-winning campaigns, an unforgettable career was forged.

In all he played 247 times for United, including, incredibly, a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after the Munich tragedy.

"It is with deepest sadness that we have learned of the passing of former player Harry Gregg OBE," the club said on Monday.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club go out to Harry's family and friends."

He eventually left Old Trafford for the briefest of stopovers at Stoke and a underwhelming managerial career followed, with spells in charge of Shrewsbury, Swansea, Crewe and Carlisle.

Gregg played 25 times for Northern Ireland.

Comments

Loading...

Happening Now