Meet Harry Gregg: The hero of the Munich Air Disaster

It’s not often we do this, but this article needs your attention on a day like today.

Two years ago regular contributor Willie Gannon took up his laptop and scribbled one of the greatest articles we’ve published on the site. Harry Gregg was a little known goalkeeper who joined the Busby Babes after a successful stint at Doncaster. But he will never be forgotten for his actions on that horrific night.

One thing to note about this ostentatious signing of Harry Gregg is that he was Matt Busby’s first signing in over four years as he has established an incredible production line of players who seamlessly fitted in to his philosophy and system.


Within minutes of meeting Matt Busby and Jimmy Murphy, Gregg accepted the move without having to think about it, the signing on fee of £30 was far less than the fee that Gregg had accepted from Colraine six years previous.


By 1957 “The Busby Babes” were the force in English football, Matt Busby had fostered a team that combined flair and hard work effortlessly. They had won the league in the previous year scoring 103 goals in the process of doing so. This fact is even more amazing when you consider that the team had a average age of only 22. But after a string of bad results that saw United’s title bid falter, Busby acted ruthlessly to fix things and Gregg was seen as the ideal signing after a recommendation by Jackie Blanchflower.


Harry Gregg made his debut on the 21st of December against Leicester City within days of making the move to Old Trafford, a resounding 4-0 victory following defeats to Spurs and Chelsea. His third game was away to city rivals Manchester City who had the Player of the Year playing between their posts, Bert Trautmann.

Read the article in full here.

The Author

Kevin Coleman

Founder and co-editor of Back Page Football and current host of our 'Three At The Back' weekly podcast.

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