Harry Gregg is confirmed dead at the age of 87.
Harry was best known as a Northern Irish footballer .
RT @BrianMcClair13: A few months ago, I had the privilege of visiting Harry Gregg at his home, he showed me his astonishing collection…
@ManUtd Bravo Harry Gregg on a superb innings. We salute you. Those us who we old enough to have seen your invaluab…
RT @ManUtd: "Harry’s contribution to the United story can never be underestimated." Rest in peace, Harry Gregg ❤️
RT @ManUtd: "Harry’s contribution to the United story can never be underestimated." 1229347891984109570,2020-02-17 10:12:32 +0000,gazzamufc1878,RT @ManUtd_HQ: Proper gutted hearing the news about Harry Gregg. He was a true Manchester United Legend.
RIP Harry gregg #legend #hero #busbybabes
RT @Mike_Phelan_1: RIP Harry Gregg. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. The #ManUtd family
RIP Harry Gregg😢
Harry Gregg: Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend dies aged 87
RT @JackoRugby: Harry Gregg was one of my boyhood heroes and the fact that he came from down the road made him all the more heroic.…
RT @ManUtd: "Harry’s contribution to the United story can never be underestimated." 1229347868949065728,2020-02-17 10:12:26 +0000,lovesportradio,Harry Gregg - The Phoenix of Manchester United
RT @BBCSport: Former Man Utd goalkeeper Harry Gregg has died at the age of 87. Hailed as a hero of the 1958 Munich air disaster,…
RT @ManUtd: "Harry’s contribution to the United story can never be underestimated." 1229347857246892032,2020-02-17 10:12:24 +0000,LinziNatasha,RT @ManCity: Sending our thoughts and condolences to the friends and family of former United player Harry Gregg OBE who has sadl…
Build Harry Gregg a Statue @ManUtd
RT @ManUtd: "Harry’s contribution to the United story can never be underestimated." 1229347839345594368,2020-02-17 10:12:19 +0000,CoplandFront,RT @BeardedGenius: RIP Harry Gregg. What a man. I’ve said it before but they should make a film about him.
Harry Gregg, Manchester United and Northern Ireland great, dies aged 87 - The Guardian
Harry Gregg
WillemIIManchesterUnited1963c.jpg
Gregg (back row, fourth left) with the Manchester United team in 1963
Personal information
Full nameHenry Gregg[1]
Date of birth(1932-10-27)27 October 1932
Place of birthMagherafelt, Northern Ireland
Date of death16 February 2020(2020-02-16) (aged 87)
Place of deathColeraine, Northern Ireland
Playing positionGoalkeeper
Youth career
Windsor Park Swifts
Coleraine
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1952–1957Doncaster Rovers94(0)
1957–1966Manchester United210(0)
1966–1967Stoke City2(0)
Total306(0)
National team
1954–1964Northern Ireland25(0)
Teams managed
1968–1972Shrewsbury Town
1972–1975Swansea City
1975–1978Crewe Alexandra
1986–1987Carlisle United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Henry Gregg, OBE (27 October 1932 – 16 February 2020) was a Northern Irish professional footballer and manager. A goalkeeper, he played for Manchester United during the reign of Sir Matt Busby, with a total of 247 appearances for the club. He was a survivor of the Munich air disaster in 1958. Gregg also played for Doncaster Rovers and Stoke City, as well as making 25 appearances for the Northern Ireland national team between 1954 and 1964. He later went into management with Carlisle United, Crewe Alexandra, Shrewsbury Town and Swansea City.
Contents
1 Club career
2 International career
3 Managerial career
4 Television appearances and portrayals
5 Personal life
6 Honours
6.1 Individual
7 Career statistics
7.1 Club
7.2 International
7.3 Managerial record
8 References
9 External links
Club career
Gregg was born in Magherafelt, County Londonderry. While working as an apprentice joiner, he started his football career with Windsor Park Swifts, the reserve team of Linfield, before signing for his local club, Coleraine. At the age of 18, he earned a move across the Irish Sea to Doncaster Rovers. In December 1957, he transferred to Manchester United for £23,000, at the time a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.
He is sometimes referred to as "The Hero of Munich" for his actions in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster, pulling his teammates – including Bobby Charlton, Jackie Blanchflower and Dennis Viollet – from the burning plane. Among others he helped were Vera Lukić, the pregnant wife of a Yugoslav diplomat and her two-year-old daughter, Vesna, as well as his badly injured manager, Matt Busby. George Best, who used to clean Gregg's boots, said, "Bravery is one thing but what Harry did was about more than bravery. It was about goodness."
Gregg is rated by many as one of the best goalkeepers Manchester United ever had; during his United career, he kept 48 clean sheets in 247 appearances. He was unable to win a medal – made all the more frustrating for him by the fact that he played for the club during one of their most successful periods. He was ruled out of the 1963 FA Cup Final victory due to a serious shoulder injury, and a succession of injuries meant that he could not play enough games to qualify for a league championship medal in the 1964–65 season, and he was sold during the first half of their title-winning campaign in 1966–67. He was also on the losing side in the 1958 FA Cup Final and United's decline in league form that season after losing so many players in the Munich tragedy meant that they finished ninth in a league that they had previously looked capable of winning. A year later, United's league form recovered, but they finished as runners-up to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Gregg was transferred to Stoke City in December 1966. He played twice for Stoke, with mixed success; in his first match, he conceded four against Leicester City as Stoke lost 4–2, and then kept a clean sheet in a 2–0 victory over Blackpool. He retired at the end of the 1966–67 season.
International career
Gregg won 25 caps for the Northern Ireland national team. He was voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament at the 1958 World Cup, where Northern Ireland reached the quarter-finals.
Managerial career
In 1968, he was appointed as manager of Shrewsbury Town. In November 1972, he became manager of Swansea City, resigning in February 1975 to join Crewe Alexandra where he remained until 1978. He then had a spell as goalkeeper coach with his old team Manchester United at the invitation of Dave Sexton, where he stayed until Sexton left in 1981.
His next club was Swindon Town as assistant manager to Lou Macari. Although Macari went on to lead Swindon to the Fourth Division title in 1986, it was without Gregg – he had an open disagreement with Macari which led to them both being sacked in April 1985. During the 1986–87 season he had an uneventful spell as manager of Carlisle United, failing to prevent them from suffering a second successive relegation that pushed them into the Fourth Division for the first time since the 1960s.
Television appearances and portrayals
Gregg appeared in a number of television programmes about Manchester United and the Munich air disaster, including Munich: End of a Dream – a 1998 documentary that marked the 40th anniversary of the crash. On the 50th anniversary of the air crash he appeared in the documentary One Life: Munich Air Disaster, broadcast 6 February 2008 on the BBC, in which he returned to the scene of the crash and the hospital for the first time and also met the son of Mrs Lukić, with whom she was pregnant at the time of the disaster. He expressed disappointment at never having been able to meet Mr Lukić, who had died in 2007. He was portrayed by actor Ben Peel in a 2011 BBC film, United, which was centred around the Munich air disaster.
Gregg made an emotional account of the disaster on a TV programme entitled Munich Air Disaster: I Was There on the National Geographic Channel. In particular it centres around a personal journey for a reunion with Vera Lukić, a Serbian woman (the wife of a Yugoslav diplomat), whom Gregg saved from the wreckage, as well as Vera's daughter Vesna, at the time a baby. Unknown to Gregg, Vera was also pregnant at the time of the disaster, so Gregg also rescued another life, that of Vera's son Zoran Lukić whom Gregg was shown meeting in the documentary One Life: Munich Air Disaster.
On 16 April 2012, the National Geographic Channel broadcast an episode of Mayday entitled "Munich Air Disaster", in which Gregg described the lead up to the disaster and the aftermath.
In April 2015, the feature-length documentary Spirit of '58 was screened as part of the Belfast Film Festival. It featured Harry Gregg prominently alongside the other surviving players of the Northern Ireland national team (Billy Bingham, Peter McParland, Jimmy McIlroy and Billy Simpson) as it told the story of Northern Ireland's journey throughout the 1950s under the managership of Peter Doherty, culminating in the 1958 World Cup in which Gregg was such a success.
Personal life
Gregg married his first wife, Mavis Markham, at St James's Church, Doncaster, in 1957, while still a Doncaster Rovers player. Their first child, Linda, was born later that year. A second daughter, Karen, was born a year later. Mavis died of cancer in 1961. On 2 July 1965 Gregg married Carolyn Maunders at St Mary's Parish Church, Rostherne. They had four children: Julie, Jane, Suzanne and John-Henry. He suffered a further tragedy on 24 April 2009, when his daughter Karen died of cancer at the age of 50. Gregg's uncle was the grandfather of fellow footballer Steve Lomas, who played for clubs including Manchester City and West Ham United, and managed the likes of St Johnstone and Millwall.
Gregg once owned the Windsor Hotel in the town of Portstewart on the north coast of County Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
Gregg celebrated his time at Old Trafford on 15 May 2012 with a testimonial organised by John White and John Dempsey from the George Best Carryduff Manchester United SC. The testimonial featured Manchester United playing an Irish League Select XI managed by Martin O'Neill and David Jeffrey. The match ended 4–1 to Manchester United.
Gregg died on 16 February 2020 after several weeks of illness at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, County Londonderry.
Honours
Individual
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1958
FIFA World Cup Best Goalkeeper: 1958
Gregg was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1995, and made an Officer of the Order (OBE) for services to football in the 2019 New Year Honours.
On 1 July 2008, Gregg was made an Honorary Graduate of the University of Ulster and awarded a Doctor of the University (DUniv) in recognition of his contribution to football at their Summer Graduation Ceremony.
Career statistics
Source:
Club
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club
Season
League
FA Cup
League Cup
Europe
Total
Division
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Apps
Goals
Doncaster Rovers
1952–53
Second Division
8
0
0
0
8
0
1953–54
Second Division
2
0
0
0
2
0
1954–55
Second Division
2
0
0
0
2
0
1955–56
Second Division
21
0
3
0
24
0
1956–57
Second Division
40
0
2
0
42
0
1957–58
Second Division
21
0
0
0
21
0
Total
94
0
5
0
99
0
Manchester United
1957–58
First Division
19
0
8
0
4
0
31
0
1958–59
First Division
41
0
1
0
0
0
42
0
1959–60
First Division
33
0
3
0
0
0
36
0
1960–61
First Division
27
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
30
0
1961–62
First Division
13
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
13
0
1962–63
First Division
24
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
28
0
1963–64
First Division
25
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
27
0
1964–65
First Division
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1965–66
First Division
26
0
7
0
0
0
5
0
38
0
1966–67
First Division
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
Total
210
0
24
0
2
0
13
0
247
0
Stoke City
1966–67
First Division
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
Career Total
306
0
29
0
2
0
13
0
348
0
International
Source:
National team
Year
Apps
Goals
Northern Ireland
1954
1
0
1956
2
0
1957
6
0
1958
6
0
1959
3
0
1960
3
0
1961
2
0
1963
2
0
Total
25
0
Managerial record
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team
From
To
Record
P
W
D
L
Win %
Shrewsbury Town
1 July 1968
1 October 1972
195
66
55
74
033.8
Swansea City
1 November 1972
1 January 1975
101
34
23
44
033.7
Crewe Alexandra
1 January 1975
31 May 1978
163
53
53
57
032.5
Carlisle United
20 May 1986
17 November 1987
73
20
11
42
027.4
Total
532
173
142
217
032.5
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