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In memoriam - Harry Gregg (1932 - 2020)
It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the passing of Harry Gregg - former United player, hero of Munich and also very special to us as a longstanding patron of M.U.S.T. Harry was a proper hero and a true Manchester United legend. As a Patron of M.U.S.T he showed that he understood what our club meant to its fans. They don't make many like that. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Harry.
As one of the mighty Legends of United, Harry needs very little introduction to United supporters. Born on 27th October 1932, in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, Harry arrived at Old Trafford bearing the tag of "The World's Most Expensive Goalkeeper". Prior to leaving Ireland, he was capped at every level, schoolboy, youth, amateur and Inter-League. Strangely, in nine years at United, the only medal he ever won was an F.A.Cup Runners Up medal from the cup final in 1958. As we all know, Harry was a survivor of the Munich disaster, showing unbelievable bravery, saving a 20-month-old baby, a pregnant woman, and trying to revive Sir Matt Busby. He was part of the patchwork team that Jimmy Murphy built after the crash. But it was his career as a player, and not for heroic actions at Munich, which Harry 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."
Even after a horrific shoulder injury, when surgeons said he might never play again, he battled back to fitness, to play against Benfica seven months later. Although Harry was once again United's first choice goalkeeper, he suffered injuries in a very bad car crash, missing most of the 64/65 season, but remained in the first team until Alex Stepney was bought in 1966. In a playing career, which spanned almost two decades, he won 25 International caps for Northern Ireland, assisting his country to the quarter finals of the World Cup in Sweden in 1958, where he was voted the tournament's best keeper. In 1995, Harry was rewarded by his country, receiving an M.B.E in the Queens Birthday Honours List, which he accepted on behalf of the many friends who perished at Munich. In the 2019 New Years honours Harry was further honoured when he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to football. We are honoured that such a man accepted our invitation to become a Patron of M.U.S.T.
In 2015, Harry founded the 'Harry Gregg Foundation' which is a local charity catering for all sections of his community; to promote positive changes, and provide opportunities to fulfil dreams. The Foundation encompasses the work previously undertaken through Coleraine FC Academy and continues to affirm all that the Academy stands for. The Foundation facilitates a wide range of activities for thousands of people each week within the local community, through participation in football, and various other health, lifestyle, educational, heritage and social inclusion activities. The Foundation will be a fitting & lasting tribute to a true United legend & local hero.
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