Manchester United players wearing black armbands against Chelsea in memory of Harry Gregg, a hero in the Munich Air Disaster
Victor Fairdrason Agbenu
Feb. 17, 2020
Manchester United will wear black armbands in their Premier League clash at Chelsea as a mark of respect to their former player Harry Gregg.
Former United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Gregg, a hero of the Munich air disaster, died today at the age of 87.
His death was announced by the Harry Gregg Foundation on Monday morning and United have confirmed they will commemorate him in their match at Stamford Bridge this evening.
The Harry Gregg foundation said in a statement: “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.
“To everyone who has called, visited or sent well wishes we thank you for the love and respect shown to Harry and the family. Never to be forgotten!”
Gregg was a survivor of the Munich air disaster in February 1958, in which 23 people were killed.
He twice returned to the burning fuselage to drag teammates and strangers to safety, rescuing United team-mates Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet as well as a 20-month old baby named Vesna Lukic and her badly injured, pregnant mother.
The trio were re-united 25 later in an emotional meeting when Gregg was at Swansea and the Northern Irishman recalled the tragic incident.
Charlton said his heroism will never be forgotten by him.
“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.”
In his playing career, Gregg became the world’s most expensive keeper when Sir Matt Busby’s United paid £23,000 in 1957. He was voted the best player 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, enjoyed an unforgettable career.
In all he played 247 times for United, including, incredibly, a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after the Munich tragedy.
The club said: “It is with deepest sadness that we have learnt of the passing of former player Harry Gregg OBE.
“Harry was one of the greatest goalkeepers to have played for Manchester United and also one of the greatest men.”
United face Chelsea in the Premier League tonight with the match at Stamford Bridge kicking off at 8pm.