HERO OF THE DAY ENDS
In nine years, Harry Gregg played over 200 league games for Manchester United. He also played for Stoke City, Doncaster Rovers, and in the 1958 World Cup for Northern Ireland, where several outstanding saves led his country to a stunning Quarterfinal. He was named best goalkeeper at the World Cup by FIFA.
However, his moment in history was made one terrible night in Munich in February 1958. An airplane taking the young Manchester United team (the fabled Busby Babes) from a European Cup semi-final in Belgrade crashed in severe winter conditions at Munich Airport. The disaster, caused by slush on the runway, killed 23 people, including eight of the Manchester United team. Harry Gregg was injured in the crash, but covered in his own bloo, he managed to kick a hole in the side of the burning airplane to escape the wreck. Having done that, he then went back into the wreck, and began to pull other survivors free from the wreckage, saving their lives. This included not only England’s future world class World Cup winning star Bobby Charlton, but also a pregnant woman and her baby daughter. “A fantastic goalkeeper and an incredible human being I was proud to call a team mate” was how Sir Bobby remembered his friend this month. For these actions he was widely called the Hero of Munich.
Two weeks after surviving a plane crash, Gregg played for Manchester United in an FA Cup clash, and kept a clean sheet as they won 3-0 against Sheffield Wednesday.
He was picked by two teams, and has died in Coleraine aged 87.
25 October 1932 – 16 February 2020