Harry Gregg funeral to be held in Northern Ireland

A funeral service for Manchester United star Harry Gregg will be held later.

The former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper was hailed as a hero after the Munich air disaster in February 1958, in which 23 people were killed.

He died earlier this week aged 87.

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

Manchester City v Manchester United – Carabao Cup – Semi Final – Second Leg – Etihad Stadium
Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to Harry Gregg (Martin Rickett/PA)

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

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

He rescued United players Sir Bobby and 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.

Gregg had spells with Windsor Park Swifts, the reserve team of Linfield, and his local club Coleraine before moving to England to sign for Doncaster at the age of 18, and played for Rovers between 1952 and 1957.

When he retired from playing, a managerial career followed, with spells in charge of Shrewsbury, Swansea, Crewe and Carlisle.

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