Belfast Telegraph

Gregg's emotional return to Man Utd will remember air disaster 60 years ago

Crash hero: Harry Gregg
Crash hero: Harry Gregg

By Staff Reporter

Harry Gregg is to make an emotional return to Manchester United on the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

The Coleraine-born goalkeeper was on board the flight which crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport, West Germany, on February 6, 1958.

Gregg (85) escaped from the burning wreckage and helped to pull some of the survivors to safety.

On Tuesday - the 60th anniversary of the disaster - he will return to Old Trafford for the first time in almost a decade.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Gregg said: "I want to go, but at the same time I don't want to go. I hope people can understand that. It will be an emotional, difficult day for me. But I will be there because I feel I should be there.

"I should be there on behalf of the people I was lucky enough to play with and who sadly and tragically never walked away from that plane or, in the case of dear Duncan Edwards, never left that hospital in Munich."

A total of 23 people were killed in the Munich disaster, including eight United players and three club officials. Seven died immediately, with the club's rising star Duncan Edwards dying 15 days later in hospital.

Club legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who was 20 at the time, suffered head injuries in the crash, while manager Sir Matt Busby was so badly hurt he was given the last rites by a Roman Catholic priest.

The team were returning from a European Cup match at Red Star Belgrade.

This afternoon the club will hold a minute's silence before their home game against Huddersfield - their last before the anniversary.

Then on Tuesday a special service will be held at Old Trafford marking the 60 years since the crash.

Review, Pages 22&23

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