The world is just wild about Harry as our international countdown reaches the final five…
Player: Harry Gregg
Event: Northern Ireland at 1958 World Cup, Sweden
When journalists voted Harry Gregg as the best goalkeeper at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, it brought some closure to a traumatic few months that included moments the 25-year-old could never have envisaged.
Harry joined the Reds in December 1957 when Matt Busby paid Doncaster Rovers £25,000 for his services – a world-record fee for a goalkeeper at the time.
Just two months later, Gregg was lucky to escape the Munich air disaster with just an injured nose, but he proved to be one of the many heroes on that terrible night, returning to the wreckage of the plane to rescue stricken team-mates, a baby and a pregnant woman.
In May he then featured in one of the most infamous moments in FA Cup final history, when Bolton’s Nat Lofthouse bundled Harry and the ball into the net for a controversial second goal.
Northern Ireland, with Harry as imposing and vocal as ever in goal, punched above their weight in Sweden, finishing second in their group despite losing to Argentina in the second match. After holding world champions West Germany to a 2-2 draw, Czechoslovakia were beaten in a play-off and Northern Ireland joined Wales in the quarter-finals (England failed to