R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

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Lord Beamish
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R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by Lord Beamish » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:31 am

1932-2020.
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Corky
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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by Corky » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:45 am

Who (sorry couldn't resist)

Zlatan
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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by Zlatan » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:07 am

Made some fantastic saves, including other people

RIP Harry


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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by claretblue » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:15 am

Harry Gregg OBE
...great character and an even greater man!

He helped pull survivors from the wreckage at Munich in ‘58.

Before Best made the 1st team he nutmegged Gregg 3 times in training practice - Harry (instead of being complimentary) singled out the skinny Belfast boy and said ‘ George - if you do that again...I’ll break your leg!...’ 😀

fondly remembered
RIP Harry
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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by ClaretTony » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:23 am

Very sad news - a friend of Jimmy Mac and, of course, they were team mates in that 1958 World Cup which came just a few months after Munich.

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by claretblue » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:32 am

Gregg's death means that Sir Bobby Charlton is the only player still alive who survived the crash.

from Mail:

HARRY GREGG OBITUARY

Harry Gregg was happy to be remembered as many things - footballer, goalkeeper, Manchester United player, Northern Ireland international and grassroots champion among them - but was always ill at ease with the title 'hero'.

That he was deserving of the description brooks no argument, by any definition of the word. His actions during the Munich air disaster, twice returning to the burning fuselage to drag team-mates and strangers to safety, were the epitomy of bravery and selflessness.

Had a 25-year-old Gregg not been on the BEA Flight 609 on February 6, 1958, or not survived the ill-fated take-off, the shocking death toll of 23 would have been higher still.

It was Gregg who sought out and delivered to safety a 20-month old baby, Gregg who returned for her badly injured, pregnant mother and Gregg who dragged Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet from the wreckage by their waistbands, not knowing if they were dead or alive.

The courage of Gregg, who has died at the age of 87, has been formally hailed in Germany and in Serbia - home to the rescued Lukic family - not to mention at Old Trafford, back home in Ulster and in countless thousands of conversations with the man himself.

It has been recreated in film and retold via documentary, passed down through generations in the telling of one of football's darkest days.

But he never embraced or amplified his own valour, and wrote in his autobiography Harry's Game: "Munich established my identity, of that there is no doubt. (But) the notoriety has come at a price, for Munich has cast a shadow over my life which I found difficult to dispel."

Tragedy revisited three years later when his first wife Mavis died of cancer, and once more when daughter Karen was claimed by the disease in 2009.

Gregg had once been a devout Protestant, visiting churches on Sundays wherever football took him, including Catholic services if that was all he could find, and even consulted a minister when the question of representing Northern Ireland arose.

His faith eventually buckled, but he bore the burdens of his life stoically, and even though a stroke in 2013 ended his favourite beach-front jogs, he remained active in the community through his eponymous charitable foundation.

He was also left in no doubt about how revered his name remained during his latter years, a fact that left him unashamedly proud. When Northern Ireland's Windsor Park was officially reopened following development in 2016, he was afforded a warm on-pitch ovation by the fans as well as meeting boxing champion Carl Frampton and golfer Rory McIlroy, both of whom treated him as the true star in the room.

Gregg, who was awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year Honours, leaves behind five children, including four with second wife Carolyn, and an unimpeachable legacy.

Gregg was born in Tobermore, South Derry, on October 25, 1932, the eldest of six children.

As a teenager he combined a carpentry apprenticeship with stints at Linfield's reserve team and Coleraine, a club so local he lived within a decent goal-kick of the Showgrounds stadium.

Football beat woodcraft with ease and by 18 he had been snapped up by Doncaster, where he enjoyed five good years before becoming the world's most expensive keeper when United, and Matt Busby, shelled out £23,000.

He spent nine years with the Red Devils and, although he never won a medal with the club, injury having ruled him out of the 1963 FA Cup final and restricted his appearances in two title-winning campaigns, an unforgettable career was forged. Not many people can say they had their boots cleaned by a young George Best.

Gregg remains a touchstone for United goalkeepers, a dominant leader between the posts and a revered shot stopper. In all he played 247 times for United, including, incredibly, a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after the Munich tragedy.

Of those who had been on duty in Belgrade before the fatal crash, only Gregg and Bill Foulkes wore the jersey in that emotional fixture less than two weeks later.

He eventually left Old Trafford for the briefest of stopovers at Stoke and a underwhelming managerial career followed, with spells in charge of Shrewsbury, Swansea, Crewe and Carlisle.

That his United career ended without a testimonial was an anomaly of circumstance, finally righted in 2012 when Sir Alex Ferguson proudly brought a full-strength squad to Windsor Park to face an Irish League XI.

In his programme notes the Scot labelled Gregg "beyond legendary" and "a most reluctant hero". That word again.

He may have bridled at the terminology, but he earned it on a footballing level too, never more so than to Northern Irish football fans at the 1958 World Cup.

In other eras, Gregg might have been expected to take the summer for reflection and recuperation after the trauma of the previous months. Instead he lined up in his country's first ever World Cup and was later named the best keeper in the competition.

His stellar performance against West Germany, in particular, was a remarkable showing that left opposition striker Uwe Seeler likening Gregg to a "springing panther".

It is Seeler's description that Gregg would most readily have recognised: athlete, competitor, opponent. For the rest of the world he was that, but more, an incredible embodiment of human spirit in adversity. A hero.
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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by IanMcL » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:00 am

A very tough exterior on the pitch...don't mess, at a time when keepers were readily bundled into the net, by big strikers, for a legitimate goal.

The documentation of his actions during the aftermath of the air crash display sheer heroism. As far as he was concerned, it was a case of 'I am ok - my team mates need me".

It is surprising that he was not awarded the George Medal for such repeated, fearless actions.

Job done Harry.

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by LeadBelly » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:38 am

A terrific keeper indisputably (and, as mentioned above, at a time when keepers had to be very brave as well as athletic). More importantly: a great man & very modest/unassuming.

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by Lord Beamish » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:46 am

Corky wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:45 am
Who (sorry couldn't resist)
Totally disrespectful. Shame on you.

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by ecc » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:49 am

Very, very sadly - a sign of today's society - Munich has become "devalued". People can think what they want about Manchester United Football Club - I don't care for what it is has become - but, let's get real, what happened on 6 February 1958 was quite simply horrendous. 23 people lost their lives. Others were severely injured. There were acts of extreme bravery with Harry Gregg playing a huge role.

For that alone we should, in my humble opinion, hold the man in the greatest regard possible.

George Best said this about Harry Gregg:

"Bravery is one thing but what Harry did was about more than bravery. It was about goodness."

My feelings and prayers are with the family of Harry Gregg today.

As pointed out by claretblue, Sir Bobby Charlton is now the sole survivor. He has obviously never fully psychologically recovered from that day as one would expect. Seeing people you love die is beyond words.

My feelings are with with him today and with Manchester United Football Club.

RIP Mr Gregg

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by mdd2 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:01 am

Interesting all that
Gregg given an OBE last year
Ride a bike well and don’t fall off and you get knighted these days

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by thatdberight » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:38 am

mdd2 wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:01 am
Interesting all that
Gregg given an OBE last year
Ride a bike well and don’t fall off and you get knighted these days
But all those cyclists have overcome asthma which bizarrely seems to be a sine qua non for Tour de France winners. All without taking any drugs shipped in mysterious packages by doctors who are suddenly too ill to tell anyone what was in them.

How could rescuing people from a plane crash compare?
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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by Buxtonclaret » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:40 am

Only ever saw him the once, before the 66 World Cup win. In truth, don't remember a lot of that game.
But Harry Gregg is one of great names in football history.
Though as already pointed out, he was also a very brave man who was a genuine hero of the Munich tragedy.
R. I. P Harry

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Re: R.I.P. Harry Gregg.

Post by mkmel » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:58 am

It was his career as a player, and not for heroic actions at Munich, which Gregg wished to be remembered.

I'm Henry Gregg, 34 Windsor Avenue, who played football. Who was useful at it on good days and rubbish at it on bad days," he said in 2008.

That's what I want to be remembered for - not something that happened on the spur of the moment."
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