Man United legend, Munich Air Disaster hero Harry Gregg dies at 87

Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg, who survived the Munich air crash, has died at 87.

Gregg spent nine years at United and made 247 appearances, became the world's most expensive keeper when Sir Matt Busby signed him for £23,000 in 1957.

He was hailed as a hero following the Munich air crash where he pulled several people to safety from the wreckage including teammates Bobby Charlton, Dennis Viollet, a 20-month old baby and her pregnant mother.

The Harry Gregg Foundation confirmed his passing in a statement on their Facebook page.

"The Gregg family would like to thank the medical staff at Causeway Hospital for their wonderful dedication to Harry over his last few weeks," the statement said.

"To everyone who has called, visited or sent well wishes we thank you for the love and respect shown to Harry and the family.

"Never to be forgotten!"

Former teammate Charlton lead the tributes to Gregg, saying in a statement: "I was proud to call him a teammate. For all the matter of fact things Harry said about that night in Munich, for me, he will always be remembered as a heroic figure.

"It's incredible to think that he went on to play in a match against Sheffield Wednesday just 13 days after that tragic night. A shining light both on and off the pitch. For so many reasons, he deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest names in Manchester United's history."

United called Gregg "a real tough nut" and said he would always be remembered for his "heroic bravery and spirit".

"Harry's contribution to the United story could never be underestimated," the club said in a statement.

"The affection in which he was held by generations of supporters was immense and, although it has been said many times before, we will not see his like again. In short, he was, without question, one of the great figures in United's history and his name and deeds, both on and off the field, will always be remembered and revered."

Gregg also made 25 appearances for Northern Ireland and was voted best goalkeeper at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden where his country reached the quarterfinals.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the next few days.

United players will wear black armbands during their Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday as a mark of respect for the former player.

Former longtime United boss Sir Alex Ferguson also paid tribute to Gregg, calling him a "man of great character" and a "true legend" of the club.

"I remember that he was always very excited and proud to host our youth team at his boarding house for the Milk Cup [Northern Ireland youth football tournament] every summer so he could recount the tales of his playing days.

"I loved his company and the many pieces of advice he gave me."