Remembering Harry Gregg, reluctant hero of the Munich air disaster - The Yorkshire Post says

There is no one who better embodied the heroism in the aftermath of the dreadful Munich air disaster, than Harry Gregg.

Harry Gregg speaks during a memorial service to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster. Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper, who has died aged 87, survived the crash on February 6 1958, in which 23 people were killed, and twice returned to the burning wreckage to drag team-mates and strangers to safety.

He rescued United team-mates Bobby Charlton, Jackie Blanchflower and Dennis Viollet, as well as a 20-month-old baby and her badly injured, pregnant mother.

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Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland football player Harry Gregg. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

He became known as the ‘hero of Munich’ for his actions and just two weeks after pulling passengers free from the plane, he kept a clean sheet as Manchester United beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup.

A life in professional football saw Mr Gregg, who Sir Alex Ferguson described as his hero, spend 35 years in England and Wales. He became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined the Old Trafford club, after a five-year spell at Doncaster Rovers, for £23,000 in 1957.

Mr Gregg became synonymous with the ‘Busby Babes’, though he never sought the limelight and throughout his life played down his heroics.

His death means that Sir Bobby Charlton is now the last survivor of the air crash still alive.

However, Harry Gregg’s name will live on. George Best once said of his actions on that fateful day: “What Harry did was about more than bravery. It was about goodness.” And he was right. It is right, too, that we remember this reluctant hero, for bravery and goodness are two qualities we can never have too much of in this world.