A survivor of the Munich air crash in February 1958, Gregg was one of the disaster’s great heroes. Having escaped with just a bloody nose, he went back into the wreckage to pull out those who were trapped. He rescued a 20-month-old child, a pregnant woman and attempted to revive Matt Busby.
It wasn't out of character. A real tough nut, Gregg was as vocal, commanding and abrasive as Peter Schmeichel would become three decades later. His bold personality and powerful physique had persuaded Busby to fork out £23,000 – then a world record fee for a goalkeeper – just three months before the crash.
After the disaster, Gregg was a part of the patchwork team built by Jimmy Murphy who reached the FA Cup final three months later. United were heroic in defeat, yet that losers’ medal would be the only decoration of Gregg’s time at Old Trafford.
The Northern Ireland international was voted best goalkeeper at the 1958 World Cup and remained United’s first-choice custodian for four years until a shoulder injury threatened his career. Gregg was told by surgeons he may never play again but eventually had major surgery and staged a comeback against Benfica at Old Trafford seven months later.