Honorary Degree for Munich Hero Harry Gregg
Dr Harry Gregg
One of Northern Ireland’s greatest goalkeepers and the hero of the Munich air disaster, Harry Gregg, today received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster at its summer graduations.
Mr Gregg was awarded a Doctor of the University (DUniv) degree in recognition of his contribution to sport, and especially to soccer.
When he was transferred from Doncaster Rovers to Manchester United in 1957, Mr Gregg became the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. During his Manchester United career he kept 48 clean sheets and is still regarded as one of the team’s greatest goalkeepers.
He will always be remembered for his heroics when a plane carrying the United team home from a European Cup match crashed when trying to take off from Munich airport on February 6, 1958. He helped pull some of his injured team-mates from the burning wreck and also saved a pregnant woman, Vera Lukic and her daughter.
Modestly, he always played down his life-saving role, but on the 50th anniversary of the crash he returned to the scene and met Mrs Luckic and the son she was pregnant with at the time.
Mr Gregg spent 10 years with United and also gained 25 caps for Northern Ireland. He was voted goalkeeper of the tournament at the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden when Northern Ireland incredibly reached the quarter finals.
After the end of his playing career he went into coaching and management before returning home to Northern Ireland where he ran a hotel in Portstewart, Co Londonderry . He received an MBE in 1995.