Coleraine town centre came to a standstill this afternoon as the coffin of Harry Gregg, former goalkeeper for Northern Ireland & Manchester United, made its final journey.
Harry was also know for his courageous role in the Munich air disaster while playing for Man Utd under Sir Matt Busby, which saw several of his fellow team mates tragically loss their lives.
The coffin made its way to the centre of Coleraine, to the St Patricks Church of Ireland where a congregation of Harrys family and friends had gathered along with locals and members of the media.
Mourners included Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, friend Liam Beckett and Coleraine manager Oran Kearney, amongst others.
The Service of Thanksgiving began with the hymn Amazing Grace followed by a bible readings deliver by Rev Ian Ballentine & Bishop Anthony Farquhar, who was a friend of Harry’s.
Delivering the Eulogies were sports broadcasters Stephen Watson & Liam Beckett. Liam Beckett has known Harry for over 40 years and described him as not just a friend but also a father figure.
Harrys own words resounded within the church as Pat McGibbon read out a poem that was written by Harry himself.
The service was conducted by Canon John McCammon who said:
“Years ago there was a football magazine which each week printed an interview with the prominent professional footballers of the time. I can’t remember its name but I do remember that each footballer was asked a number of questions – around 10-15 questions covering a wide area of their life and experience. The same questions were used for each weekly issue and one of those questions was this,
‘What is your personal ambition?’
“I’m sure Harry Gregg must have been one of those interviewed.
The fascinating thing about their answers to that question was that a majority of them said that their personal ambition was to be happy.”
The final emotional blessing was delivered by Harrys son John, before Harrys coffin follow by mourners made its way out of the church and along the short journey to Coleraine Showgrounds.
There, the hearse paused for a short period in front of members of the public, who showed their respects with a round of applause.
Onwards and after passing at his family home on Windsor Avenue, Harry made his way to his final resting place at Coleraine Cemetery.