English Premiership

WATCH | Ferguson, Charlton among mourners at funeral of Man United great Gregg

2020-02-21 22:10
Harry Gregg of Manchester United speaks during the
Harry Gregg of Manchester United speaks during the memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster at Old Trafford on February 6 2008 in Manchester, England.

Coleraine - Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton were among the mourners at the funeral of Manchester United great Harry Gregg in the Munich air crash hero's home town on Friday.

Charlton was one of the United players Gregg pulled from the wreckage of the burning plane that crashed at Munich airport in 1958.

Former United manager Ferguson and former striker Denis Law also attended the service in Coleraine, in Northern Ireland.

Former Northern Ireland international Gregg, who was named the best goalkeeper of the 1958 World Cup, died earlier this week aged 87.

He will be forever associated with the tragedy in Munich when a plane carrying Matt Busby's young United side back from a European game against Red Star Belgrade crashed in the snow after a refuelling stop.

Gregg survived the crash that claimed 23 lives and twice returned to the burning fuselage to drag United team-mates and strangers to safety.

He rescued Charlton and Dennis Viollet, as well as a 20-month-old baby and her badly injured pregnant mother.

BBC Northern Ireland sports presenter Stephen Watson, who accompanied Gregg back to the crash site for a 2008 documentary to mark the 50th anniversary, delivered a eulogy at Friday's funeral in front of the keeper's widow Carolyn and other family members.

"Harry was determined that even though Munich shaped his destiny, it would not shape his life," Watson said

"He was called the hero of Munich, but he always wanted to be remembered simply as a footballer and a coach of some repute.

"In his own words, 'I'm Harry Gregg from 34 Windsor Avenue in Coleraine who played football - I was useful on some days and rubbish on others'.

"Harry Gregg. What an incredible man, and what a remarkable life. We will never forget you."

 

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