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Harry Gregg's Foundation is a proper monument to the man


Legend: Harry Gregg

Legend: Harry Gregg

Derek Simpson: www.sportfile.co.

Legend: Harry Gregg

Harry Gregg. Football icon. Superhero. No nonsense tough guy.

Less known, and he won't thank me for writing this, is his tender side. I haven't spoken to the great man for a while now but rest assured when we do he'll ask about my family, as I will his, in a genuine caring manner before or after we put the world to rights.

When you are in a conversation with Harry Gregg, you learn to be a good listener.

No problem with that when an entertaining, informative and opinionated character is doing the talking.

I'm not the only football writer in Northern Ireland to have enjoyed this gift. Call it one of the perks of the job.

It's not all one way though. He lets you have your say after offering his wisdom. Sometimes I even disagree with him which can lead into quite the debate.

He's as passionate about football now as he was when he played for Manchester United and Northern Ireland with such distinction in the 1950s and 1960s. Harry (pictured left) likes things done in what he sees as the right way.

And not just in a footballing sense. Off the pitch for as long as I've known him he's been interested in seeing youngsters progress their lives in a fulfilling fashion.

Harry has received many tributes over the years for his goalkeeping prowess and his selfless heroics in saving lives after the Munich air crash when so many of his pals and United team-mates perished.

He will be paid more tributes tonight when the Harry Gregg Foundation is launched at Ulster University in his home town of Coleraine.

There was talk of a statue being erected in his honour, but Harry preferred the idea of having a foundation dedicated to community projects developing young people and encouraging them to fulfil their dreams.

It's a fitting monument to this magnificent man.

Belfast Telegraph