Former Doncaster Rovers legend and Munich Air Disaster hero Harry Gregg dies at 87

Former Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who later became a Manchester United icon and hero of the Munich Air Disaster has died at the age of 87.

Monday, 17th February 2020, 9:07 am
Updated Monday, 17th February 2020, 9:07 am

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

He was a survivor of the air disaster 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.

As well as rescuing Red Devils team mates Bobby Charlton, Jackie Blanchflower and Dennis Viollet, he also helped his manager Sir Matt Busby and a 20-month-old baby and her badly injured, pregnant mother.

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Harry Gregg has died at the age of 87.

"It is with great sorrow that we inform of the death of Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg, OBE," his foundation said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"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.

Gregg became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when United, and Sir Matt Busby, shelled out £23,000 in 1957 to sign him from Doncaster Rovers.

The Northern Ireland born goalkeeper began his professional career at Rovers in 1952 and made 99 appearances for Rovers before his switch across the Pennines.

He made 25 appearances for Northern Ireland and played a total of 247 appearances for Manchester United – including playing for United just 13 days after Munich – and later played for Stoke City before going into management with Shrewsbury Town, Swansea City, Crewe Alexandra and Carlisle United.

Doncaster Rovers tweeted: The thoughts of everyone at DRFC are with the friends and family of Harry Gregg, who made 99 appearances for Rovers before being signed for Manchester United by Matt Busby in 1957 and becoming a hero of Munich. RIP, Harry.