Book of condolence opens for Harry Gregg at National Stadium

A book of condolence has opened for former Manchester United star Harry Gregg at Northern Ireland’s National Stadium at Windsor Park.

The country’s ex-international goalkeeper was hailed as a hero after the Munich air disaster in February 1958, in which 23 people were killed.

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

He died earlier this week aged 87.

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson was one of the first to sign the book of sympathy.

Harry Gregg File Photo
Harry Gregg File Photo

His funeral will be held at St Patrick’s Parish Church in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, on Friday.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and legendary player Sir Bobby Charlton were among those to pay tribute earlier this week.

He rescued Sir Bobby and fellow player Dennis Viollet from the BEA Flight 609, as well as a 20-month-old baby and her badly injured pregnant mother.

In nine years at United, Gregg played 247 times, including in a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after the Munich tragedy.

Gregg became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when Sir Matt Busby’s United paid Doncaster £23,000 in 1957 and he was voted the best keeper at the World Cup a year later.

He won just 25 caps for his country during an international career that was hampered by injury.