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  1. ITV Report

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg dies

  • Video report by Mike Hall

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg has died at the age of 87.

His death was announced by the Harry Gregg Foundation on Monday morning (February 17.)

Gregg was hailed a hero of the 1958 Munich air disaster, in which 23 people were killed.

In the immediate aftermath of the Munich Air Disaster, the goalkeeper saved the lives of Dennis Viollet and Bobby Charlton, as well as a 20-month old baby and her badly injured, pregnant mother.

Charlton said in a statement on United's website: "Lady Norma and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Harry Gregg.

"I was proud to call him a team-mate. For all the matter of fact things Harry said about that night in Munich, for me, he will always be remembered as a heroic figure. It's incredible to think that he went on to play in a match against Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after that tragic night.

"A shining light both on and off the pitch. For so many reasons, he deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest names in Manchester United's history. Harry will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with Carolyn and his family at this very sad time."

On its Facebook page, the Harry Gregg Foundation said:

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

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."

– Harry Gregg Foundation, Facebook
Harry Gregg Credit: PA

In 2018, Harry Gregg spoke to Granada Reports about the Munich air disaster. He recited a poem that he wrote as a tribute to the teammates that didn't make it home.

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.

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.

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.

Mr Gregg played 25 times for Northern Ireland.

  • Tribute by Manchester Munich Memorial Foundation Chairman, Patrick Burns

Patrick organises trips to Munich each year to remember the air disaster.

He got to know Harry through his work and even had the chance to stay at his house on one occasions.

He described him as a "legend" and a "lovely, lovely, lovely man".

Tributes have been pouring in for Harry on social media:

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