Bobby Charlton and Alex Ferguson have led the tributes to former Manchester United and Northern Eire goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who has died on the age of 87.
Gregg was hailed as a hero of the Munich air catastrophe on February 6, 1958, through which 23 folks have been killed. He was a survivor and twice returned to the burning fuselage to pull team-mates and strangers to security.
He rescued United team-mates Charlton and Dennis Viollet from the BEA Flight 609, in addition to a 20-month-old child and her badly injured, pregnant mom.
Paying tribute to the life and profession of United legend Harry Gregg. pic.twitter.com/EuJAc9bZYc
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2020
In 9 years at United, Gregg performed 247 occasions, together with, extremely, a 3-Zero win over Sheffield Wednesday simply 13 days after the Munich tragedy.
Charlton stated in an announcement on United’s web site: “Girl Norma and I are deeply saddened to listen to of the passing of Harry Gregg.
“I used to be proud to name him a team-mate. For all of the matter of reality issues Harry stated about that night time in Munich, for me, he’ll at all times be remembered as a heroic determine. It’s unbelievable to suppose that he went on to play in a match towards Sheffield Wednesday simply 13 days after that tragic night time.
“A shining mild each on and off the pitch. For therefore many causes, he deserves to be remembered as one of many best names in Manchester United’s historical past. Harry shall be deeply missed and our ideas are with Carolyn and his household at this very unhappy time.”
Ferguson, who took his United group to play in Gregg’s testimonial in Belfast in 2012, stated: “I used to be deeply saddened to listen to of the passing of Harry Gregg.
“Harry was a person of nice character and a real legend at our membership. I do not forget that he was at all times very excited and proud to host our youth group at his boarding home for the Milk Cup each summer season, so he may recount the tales of his enjoying days. I beloved his firm and the various items of recommendation he gave me.
“My ideas and prayers are with Carolyn and his household at this very unhappy time. God bless Harry.”
United additionally remembered Gregg, saying in an announcement on its web site: “It’s with deepest disappointment that we have now learnt of the passing of former participant Harry Gregg OBE.
“Harry was one of many best goalkeepers to have performed for Manchester United and in addition one of many best males. His bravery in dashing to the help of team-mates and different passengers through the Munich air catastrophe won’t ever be forgotten.
“After the catastrophe, he was integral to the rebuilding of Sir Matt Busby’s group and he remained a cherished a part of the Manchester United household for the remainder of his life.
“Harry’s contribution to the United story may by no means be underestimated. The love through which he was held by generations of supporters was immense and, though it has been stated many occasions earlier than, we won’t see his like once more.
“In brief, he was, with out query, one of many nice figures in United’s historical past and his title and deeds, each on and off the sector, will at all times be remembered and revered. The ideas and prayers of everybody on the membership exit to Harry’s household and pals.”
It’s with deepest disappointment that we have now discovered of the passing of former participant Harry Gregg OBE. The ideas and prayers of everybody on the membership exit to Harry’s household and pals. pic.twitter.com/5kjlpn5Wqm
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2020
Gregg grew to become the world’s most costly goalkeeper when Matt Busby’s United spent £23,000 in 1957 and he was voted one of the best on the World Cup a 12 months later.
He received simply 25 caps for his nation throughout a world profession that was hampered by harm.
Irish FA president David Martin stated immediately: “Everybody on the affiliation and within the Northern Eire soccer household is saddened to listen to of the demise of Harry Gregg.
“He was one of many best and most well-known gamers to return from our nation and, after all, he was one of many heroes of Northern Eire’s well-known 1958 World Cup squad.”
Irish FA chief govt Patrick Nelson added: “Harry Gregg was a real legend of the sport…he shall be missed by all of us.”
— Northern Eire (@NorthernIreland) February 17, 2020
Gregg had spells with Windsor Park Swifts, the reserve group of Linfield, and his native membership Coleraine earlier than shifting to England to signal for Doncaster on the age of 18.
He performed for Rovers between 1952 and 1957 and the membership tweeted: “The ideas of everybody at #DRFC are with the family and friends of Harry Gregg, who made 99 appearances for Rovers earlier than being signed for Manchester United by Matt Busby in 1957 and turning into a hero of Munich. RIP, Harry.”
When he retired from enjoying, a managerial profession adopted with spells accountable for Shrewsbury, Swansea, Crewe and Carlisle.
The Cumbrian membership tweeted: “He was the Hero of Munich – returning to the aircraft repeatedly to assist others in what he described as a ‘spur of the second’ motion. Ideas with the household and pals of former supervisor Harry Gregg this morning.”
— Mike Phelan (@Mike_Phelan_1) February 17, 2020
United assistant supervisor Mike Phelan wrote on Twitter: “RIP Harry Gregg. Our ideas and prayers are with you”.
Former United supervisor Ron Atkinson stated: “Ideas and prayers are with Harry’s household and pals RIP my buddy”.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand posted: “Big a part of the golf equipment historical past, by no means to be forgotten! Thank You.” whereas Gary Neville merely stated: “Harry Gregg RIP”.
Harry Gregg RIP ❤️🙏
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) February 17, 2020
Former United midfielder and Northern Eire worldwide Norman Whiteside and former youth academy director at Previous Trafford Brian McClair each had private tales to inform when paying their tributes.
“Harry Gregg what a person we love you Sir RIP. As a 15 12 months outdated boy Harry came over me in hospital in Manchester to verify I used to be in the fitting arms of Manchester United ?? What a person ?? RIP”, tweeted Whiteside.
Former United ahead McClair wrote: “Just a few months in the past, I had the privilege of visiting Harry Gregg at his dwelling. He confirmed me his astonishing assortment of memorabilia.
“We sat in his entrance room and I listened to Harry’s tales, some unhappy, a lot of them joyous. I used to be blessed that day. Deepest condolences to his household.”