Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson have led the tributes this morning to Harry Gregg, who is described by his former team-mate as “a fantastic goalkeeper but more importantly an incredible human being”.
The Manchester United legend and hero of the Munich air disaster passed away on Sunday at the age of 87, as confirmed by the Harry Gregg Foundation, and Charlton paid an emotional tribute to his former team-mate.
Charlton was pulled from the burning wreckage of the plane by Gregg, who was also credited for saving a 20-month-old baby and her pregnant mother.
“I was proud to call him a team-mate,” said Charlton.
“Lady Norma and I are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Harry Gregg.
“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.”
It’s clear that Gregg wasn’t just one of the greatest goalkeepers to have played for United, but he was also one of the greatest men. A man we all looked up at.
Ferguson, who took a full-strength United team to play in Gregg’s testimonial in Belfast in 2012, added: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Harry Gregg.
“Harry was a man of great character and a true legend at our club. I remember that he was always very excited and proud to host our youth team at his boarding house for the Milk Cup every summer, so he could recount the tales of his playing days. I loved his company and the many pieces of advice he gave me.
“My thoughts are prayers are with Carolyn and his family at this very sad time. God bless Harry.”
The entire United family is extremely saddened to hear the news that Gregg has passed away.
His contribution to the United story can never be underestimated.
On the international stage, the Northern Ireland icon was voted best goalkeeper at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden as his country reached the quarter-finals.