Known For: Being the "Hero of Munich."
Aside from the fact that he was, at the time of his United career, one of the best goalkeepers in all of England, Harry Gregg was also one of the survivors of Munich. Not only that, he was one of the few players who actually escaped relatively (physically) unscathed.
After regaining consciousness, the big keeper actually ran back into the plane to try to save as many lives as possible. I will let Harry Gregg himself relate the incident, as there is no way I can do him any justice with a summary:
“We set off once again, and I remember looking out of the window and seeing a tree and a house passing by; and suddenly, everything went black all of a sudden, and sparks began to fly. I was hit hard on the back of my head, and I thought the top of my skull had been cut off.
“The plane went on it’s side, sort of upside down. There was no crying. There was just silence and blackness and then for a second daylight again. I thought I was dead, so I sat there quietly, and a strange idea passed through my mind. I remembered thinking that I had a great life and my wonderful family and that I couldn’t speak German!
“There was a great hissing noise all around me, and I realized that I was still alive. I unfastened my seat belt and began to climb out. Captain Thain appeared with a fire extinguisher and told me to run for it.
“I got out of the plane and there’s five people running for it, and Thain said 'run you stupid bastard, the plane’s about to explode' and I was about to run when I heard a child crying.
“I called out to them 'come back you bastards; there’s a child alive,' but they didn’t come back and I went back in and I was terrified what I’d find. I found the baby and started to carry it out. The radio operator took the child from me, and I went back into the debris, and I found her mother who was in a bad condition. I kicked a hole in the fuselage and I pushed her out.
“I found Albert Scanlon who was badly hurt, and I tried to get him out too, but he was trapped by his feet and I couldn’t move him.
“Peter Howard, the Daily Mail photographer, was with Albert keeping him company. I ran round to the back of the plane, and I found Bobby Charlton and Denis Viollet lying still. I thought they were dead, and I dragged their bodies, like rag dolls, into the seats which had been thrown about 20 yards from the plane. I started calling out for Jackie.
“As I searched for him, I saw the tail end of the plane ablaze with flames. I found Matt Busby, who was conscious, but holding his chest in pain, crying out 'my legs, my legs.' I propped him up and found Blanchie crying, with Roger Byrne lying across him dead.
“Jackie’s arm was in a bad way and bleeding badly, so I tied a tourniquet on it with my tie. I pulled it so hard that my tie snapped in half, but I managed to tie his arm with what was left.
“Suddenly, a man in a long trench coat arrived carrying a syringe. I shouted at him to go and help the injured in the aircraft, but suddenly there were some explosions from the burning half of the plane and the force through the doctor off his feet. He was a strange sight falling on his backside in the snow, with his legs in the air holding the syringe in his hand.
“I turned around and got the shock of my life, for there was Denis and Bobby standing, just watching the fire. I was so relieved; I thought they were dead. Shortly after this, when it looked as though the rescuers had everything under control, I sank to my knees and wept, thanking God that some of us had been saved. I had never seen death before and I never wanted to see it again.”
Gregg saved the lives of Sir Matt Busby, Bobby Charlton, Denis Viollet and a mother and child. He is not only a legend, he is a hero in the very truest sense.