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Harry Gregg

Fifty years ago today, a 25-year-old footballer called Harry Gregg climbed back into the burning fuselage of a crashed aeroplane to rescue his team-mates and fellow passengers.

In the immediate aftermath of the Munich air disaster, which killed 23 of the 44 people on board, the Manchester United player saved the lives of a pregnant woman and her small daughter and pulled Bobby Charlton and Matt Busby, among others, to safety. For this, he was called the Hero of Munich, an epithet the modest Ulsterman has always hated.

In his moment of truth, Gregg did not hesitate to do what he could amid the carnage, but afterwards he never wanted to speak of it. . .

Harry Gregg had to fight to stop himself being sick as he dragged the injured and maimed through the snow with his big, goalkeeper's hands.”

A sportsman. A hero.