London, February 17: Former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg, a survivor of the 1958 Munich air disaster, has died at the age of 87.
Gregg, who had only been at United for two months at the time of the crash, became known as the "Hero of Munich" after returning to the burning wreckage to rescue Vera Lukic, the pregnant wife of a Yugoslav diplomat, and her young daughter.
He went back to pull out team-mates Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet, while assisting manager Matt Busby and fellow Northern Ireland international Jackie Blanchflower.
His death was announced by the Harry Gregg Foundation on Facebook.
"It is with great sorrow that we inform of the death of Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg, OBE," a statement read.
"Harry passed away peacefully in hospital surrounded by his loving family."
United posted on Twitter to say: "It is with deepest sadness that we have learned of the passing of former player Harry Gregg OBE.
"The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club go out to Harry’s family and friends."
It is with deepest sadness that we have learned of the passing of former player Harry Gregg OBE. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club go out to Harry’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/5kjlpn5Wqm— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2020
The disaster occurred when a plane carrying Gregg and his United team-mates – known as "the Busby Babes" – crashed in heavy snow after several aborted take-offs.
In total, 23 people died including eight United players and seven of the club's backroom staff. Eight newspaper journalists were also among the victims.
United signed Gregg from Doncaster Rovers for a then world-record fee for a goalkeeper in December 1957 and he made 247 appearances for the club.
Gregg also represented Northern Ireland at the 1958 World Cup, where he was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament.