They broke the mould after Harry GreggI don’t often think of play-acting footballers, needy footballers engineering sympathetic applause and footballers queueing up for the massage table. It’s best not to do this, it only causes irritation. But the big jessies of the game came to mind last week reading the obituaries of Harry Gregg, Manchester United goalkeeper a hero of the Munich air crash.In 1958 Gregg forced his way out of the wreckage and ignored an order to run for cover from a potential explosion to dive back into the burning debris to try to rescue the injured. He pulled the wife of a Yugoslav diplomat to safety along with her young daughter, plus five United players including Bobby Charlton, some having to be dragged by their trouser belts.The next time you suspect a contemporary footballer of being “at it”, injury-wise, remember this: Gregg was back in the United goal only 13 days after the crash which killed 23 people, helping an ad hoc team reach the FA Cup final. For the rest of that season he played with severe headaches. Eventually persuaded to see a neurosurgeon, he found out he had a fractured
skull.They don’t make them like Harry anymore.

Harry Gregg ignored thoughts of his own safety in order to rescue others from the wreckage at Munich. Picture: Getty.
Harry Gregg ignored thoughts of his own safety in order to rescue others from the wreckage at Munich. Picture: Getty.