Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

There’s only one Harry Gregg...except when there are two of them

Football took a pregnant pause, if you pardon the pun, in the Gregg household this week.

Over the last few months, Institute manager, John, has had his hands full trying to deliver the Drumahoe men away from the danger zone of the Carling Premiership table.

On Tuesday though all thoughts of football and relegation dogfights were put to the back of his mind as he took delivery of something much more precious than three league points — a beautiful bouncing baby boy.

The popular boss of the north-west outfit is, of course, the son of Northern Ireland and Manchester United legend, Harry (pictured), so when John and his equally proud wife, Tina, were scratching their heads for a name for the new arrival to the footballing dynasty, they didn’t have far to look.

And while football often throws up a ‘six-pointer’, this time around the Portrush-man was only interested in the arrival of a ‘six-pounder’ in Harry Jnr.

“Tina went into hospital on Tuesday and had a wee baby boy,” beamed Gregg.

“We have named him Harry, after my dad and I’m absolutely delighted and both Tina and Harry are doing well.”

Grandfather Gregg knows more than most that the saying football is more important than life and death is pure bunkum following his experiences in Munich and for John his joyous moment has helped put what is a game in perspective.

“Football takes up a massive part of your life and it has been a poor year, the biggest thing I have to do is separate football with what happens at home, but it’s very hard,” he admitted.

“I think if you ask anyone who has worked in the game, it takes over your life, but there are times like that I had on Tuesday which was fantastic.

“I honestly thought we were going to have a girl and we only picked girls names, but I was over the moon.”

Good to see that even in the afterglow of birth, that a footballing cliche can still be used, but Gregg knows tomorrow all thoughts of children will have to be put to one side as he takes his side to take on Newry City.

Or perhaps not as the ’Stute gaffer admits he’ll be giving one or two younger players a chance to prove their worth.

“There are going to be some kids involved, but we’ll definitely be trying to win the game,” he stressed.

“The only hope we have of playing top flight football next season is in a play-off with Donegal Celtic, but they need to finish second, so we need either Loughgall or Limavady United to try and help us.

“Obviously over the next week or 10 days we’ll be keeping a close eye on the results in the Championship, but once we get Saturday’s match against Newry City out of the way, we have to prepare right if there is a play-off.

“There is no point in us going away for two weeks and doing whatever we want; we’ll be in and we’ll try and stay as sharp and as focused as we possible can, with one eye on a play-off, if we are lucky enough to get a play-off.

“However, if we do get a play-off then we have to try and grasp it with both hands.”

You would imagine though that on the home front those two hands are going to rather full for the foreseeable future.

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