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Harry Gregg, MBE (born 25 October 1932) is a Northern Irishmarker former football player and manager.

Harry started his 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 Seamarker to Doncaster Rovers, before transferring to Manchester United in December 1957. He earned 25 caps for the Northern Ireland national team. At the time of his transfer, he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.

Gregg was voted best goalkeeper of the tournament at 1958 World Cup. At the time the All-star team was voted on by the journalists covering the tournament, and Gregg got 478 votes - way ahead of closest competitor Lev Yashin with 122 votes.

Gregg was a goalkeeper who had 48 clean sheets in his United career. He is sometimes called 'The Hero of Munich' because he pulled some of his team mates from the burning plane during the Munich air disastermarker including Bobby Charlton, Jackie Blanchflower and Dennis Viollet. Among those he helped was Vera Lukic, the pregnant wife of a Yugoslav diplomat and her daughter, Vesna, as well as his badly-injured manager Sir Matt Busby.

Harry Gregg is rated by many as one of the best goalkeepers Manchester United ever had, yet he achieved no medals to justify this claim - 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 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 and 1966-67 title-winning campaigns. He was transferred to Stoke City in the summer of 1967. He left Stoke City to manage Shrewsbury Town.

In November 1972, he became manager of Swansea City, resigning in February 1975 to join Crewe Alexandramarker where he remained until 1978. He then had a spell with his old team Manchester United at the invitation of Dave Sexton as goalkeeper coach, where he stayed until Sexton left. His next club was Swindon Town as assistant manager to Lou Macari, helping them win the Fourth Division title in 1986. 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.

For some years after this he owned a hotel (fittingly called The Windsor Hotel) in the town of Portstewart on the North Antrim coast of his native Northern Ireland.

He received an MBE in 1995 and has appeared in a number of recent television programmes about Manchester United and the Munich Air Disaster, including Munich: End of a Dream - a documentary televised in 1998 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich tragedy. He was voted best goalkeeper of the tournament in the 1958 FIFA World Cup according to the FIFA documentary "FIFA fever". On the 50th anniversary of the air crash he appeared in the documentary One Life: Munich Air Disaster in which he returned to the scene of the crash for the first time and also met the son of Mrs Lukic who she was pregnant with at the time of the disaster. He expressed disappointment at never having been able to meet Mr Lukic, who had died in 2007.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

References

  1. Honorary Degree for Munich Hero Gregg University of Ulster News Release 1st July 2008


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