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Farewell to a hero: Harry Gregg funeral told of legend's courage and ability as Manchester United greats join mourners

Mourners gather for funeral of football legend Harry Gregg [Photos] Close

Well wishers and mourners line the streets as the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer Harry Gregg takes place on February 21, 2020 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.  (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Well wishers and mourners line the streets as the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer Harry Gregg takes place on February 21, 2020 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine.  Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine.  
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Family members carry the coffin of former Manchester United goalkeeper, Munich air crash survivor, Harry Gregg after the church service of his funeral at St Patrick's Parish Church in Coleraine, Northern Ireland on February 21, 2020 (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Family members carry the coffin of former Manchester United goalkeeper, Munich air crash survivor, Harry Gregg after the church service of his funeral at St Patrick's Parish Church in Coleraine, Northern Ireland on February 21, 2020 (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Among the mourners to arrive at the church were former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and former striker Denis Law.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Among the mourners to arrive at the church were former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and former striker Denis Law. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

The funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

The funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Alex Ferguson and Denis Law (behind) at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Alex Ferguson and Denis Law (behind) at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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David Healy and Oran Kearney as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

David Healy and Oran Kearney as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mary Peters as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Mary Peters as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Richard Montgomery as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Richard Montgomery as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

David Hunter as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

David Hunter as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Arlene Foster as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

David Jeffrey as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

David Jeffrey as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Keith Gillespie and Liam Beckett as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Keith Gillespie and Liam Beckett as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Lady Mary Peters at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Lady Mary Peters at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Oran Kearney at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Oran Kearney at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

 Denis Law  at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Denis Law at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Sir Bobby Charlton as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Sir Bobby Charlton as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick’s Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick’s Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Sir Alex Ferguson as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Sir Alex Ferguson as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Sir Alex Ferguson arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Alex Ferguson arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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The coffin of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg arriving at St Patrick's Parish Church, Coleraine, for his funeral. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The coffin of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg arriving at St Patrick's Parish Church, Coleraine, for his funeral. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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The coffin of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg arriving at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine, for his funeral. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The coffin of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg arriving at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine, for his funeral. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Bobby Charlton at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Bobby Charlton at the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg takes place at St Patrick's Church in Coleraine. Enroute to the sevice the cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life

Sir Bobby Charlton arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Bobby Charlton arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Sir Bobby Charlton arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Bobby Charlton arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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DUP leader Arlene Foster arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

DUP leader Arlene Foster arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Former Manchester United youth player David Jeffrey arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Former Manchester United youth player David Jeffrey arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Former Manchester United youth player David Jeffrey arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Former Manchester United youth player David Jeffrey arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

PA

Mourners arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mourners arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday February 21, 2020. See PA story FUNERAL Gregg. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Well wishers and mourners line the streets as the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer Harry Gregg takes place on February 21, 2020 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Harry Gregg was admired for both his ability and character, his funeral has been told.

Family, friends and fans gathered at St Patrick's Parish Church in Coleraine on Friday to bid farewell to the former Manchester United goalkeeper and hero of the 1958 Munich air disaster.

Sir Alex Ferguson joined mourners, alongside Manchester United greats Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law.

After the service the funeral cortege stopped at Coleraine showgrounds as hundreds of mourners lined the streets.

In a eulogy, BBC Sports presenter Stephen Watson recalled Mr Gregg's childhood, where he was the first of six children.

"Harry always admired the courage and resilience of his younger brother Billy who suffered with polio, and lost the use of his legs. Harry was so proud Billy was able to set up his own business," he said.

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David Healy and Oran Kearney as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

David Healy and Oran Kearney as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

David Healy and Oran Kearney as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

"Soon Harry and family moved to Windsor Avenue in Coleraine and from the moment he was old enough to walk, football was his passion. Every spare minute in his early years were spent kicking football in Victoria Park in the summer, and in the winter it was street football, with goalposts on the gable wall."

"As a child, Mr Gregg's footballing idol was Glasgow Celtic goalkeeper Johnny Thompson.

"Probably the reason Harry wanted a career between the sticks - even though not many know he started at left back.

"Harry also purposely flunked an exam so he didn't have to go to grammar school as they concentrated on rugby and cricket."

Mr Watson recalled Gregg was first signed for Manchester United.

"Soon, while at Doncaster Rovers, one of the world's biggest football clubs came calling. Manchester United. Harry told me how he was bundled into a car, blanket put over his head and taken to a house - when he was able to open his eyes in front of him was Sir Matt Busby.

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Keith Gillespie and Liam Beckett as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Keith Gillespie and Liam Beckett as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Keith Gillespie and Liam Beckett as the funeral of Harry Gregg takes place at St PatrickÕs Church in Coleraine on February 21st 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

"Before Matt even had the words out "do you want to join Manchester United?", Harry said yes! No signing on fee... still said yes!

"It was for a world record fee of £23,500 - as Harry said himself it doesn't sound like much now - and David Beckham spends more on haircuts - but he was the most expensive goalkeeper on the planet.

"Harry was proud that he was signed for United - yes for his ability - but also, as he later found out, for his character".

Mr Watson added that while the Munich air crash had a significant impact on Gregg, the death of his wife Mavis "was his darkest hour".

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Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Sir Bobby Charlton and wife Norma arrive for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

"At the age of just 25 his wife Mavis passed away with breast cancer. Munich was extremely harrowing but it Mavis's death that was the core of the pain that he suffered. It was his darkest hour."

He said Gregg loved spending time with his family, and will be missed by them: "His 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren I know will miss spending time with him."

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Among the mourners to arrive at the church were former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and former striker Denis Law.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Among the mourners to arrive at the church were former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and former striker Denis Law. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Among the mourners to arrive at the church were former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and former striker Denis Law. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Harry Gregg's family have said they are "amazed and overwhelmed" at the level of support they have received since he died on Sunday aged 87.

A death notice said he was the dearly loved husband of Carolyn; much-loved father of Linda, Julie, Jane, Suzanne, John-Henry and the late Karen; and a dear father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.

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Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine.  Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Funeral for former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Coleraine. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

In a statement, the family said they have been "overwhelmed" by the media coverage and support they have received in the wake of Gregg's passing.

"The shear volume of private messages which have been received and those posted via social media has been incredible. Reading them has given us all such a huge lift and comfort at this otherwise sad time," they said.

"Although his background was firmly rooted in football, we have been amazed by the outpouring of admiration being bestowed on him from the entire sporting community and indeed from all walks of life.

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Fondly remembered: Harry Gregg during his heyday as a world-renowned goalkeeper of the highest quality

Fondly remembered: Harry Gregg during his heyday as a world-renowned goalkeeper of the highest quality

Fondly remembered: Harry Gregg during his heyday as a world-renowned goalkeeper of the highest quality

"In his own words, being transferred to Manchester United was like a dream coming true, but if truth be told he would have paid to have played for them, if he had been a rich man."

The family said Gregg was "incredibly proud" of his connection to Coleraine and even more so that of Northern Ireland.

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Harry Gregg

Harry Gregg

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Harry Gregg

"Although hurting deeply as a family it is our hope that this time and the funeral itself can be used as an opportunity for supporters everywhere to celebrate his great life, achievements and associations," they said.

Gregg survived the Munich crash and twice returned to the burning fuselage to drag United team-mates and strangers to safety.

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The Munich air disaster

The Munich air disaster

The Munich air disaster

He rescued United players Sir Bobby and Dennis Viollet from the BEA Flight 609, as well as a 20-month-old baby and her badly injured pregnant mother.

In nine years at United, Gregg played 247 times, including in a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after the Munich tragedy.

Gregg became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when Sir Matt Busby's United paid Doncaster £23,000 in 1957 and he was voted the best keeper at the World Cup a year later.

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Big game: (left) Harry in action for Northern Ireland during their famous 3-2 win over England at Wembley in 1957

Big game: (left) Harry in action for Northern Ireland during their famous 3-2 win over England at Wembley in 1957

Big game: (left) Harry in action for Northern Ireland during their famous 3-2 win over England at Wembley in 1957

He won just 25 caps for his country during an international career that was hampered by injury.

Gregg had spells with Windsor Park Swifts, the reserve team of Linfield, and his local club Coleraine before moving to England to sign for Doncaster at the age of 18, and played for Rovers between 1952 and 1957.

When he retired from playing, a managerial career followed, with spells in charge of Shrewsbury, Swansea, Crewe and Carlisle.

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The order of service for the funeral of Harry Gregg. Credit: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

The order of service for the funeral of Harry Gregg. Credit: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

The order of service for the funeral of Harry Gregg. Credit: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

Belfast Telegraph