Reported in the News Letter on February 7, 1958: I was lucky – I only got a nosebleed, says Munich crash survivor Harry Gregg

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The two Ulster-born players in the Manchester United party – Jackie Blanchflower, of Belfast, and Harry Gregg, of Coleraine – were among those saved.

Billy Whelan, of Dublin, the Eire international, was killed.

Gregg was able to leave hospital last night, but Blanchflower was detained suffering from complicated fractures of the arm, shock, broken ribs, fractured pelvis and other internal injuries.

“Everyone sensed it was going to happen,” Gregg told a press conference in a Munich hotel lounge.

There was a “sense of tension” among the passengers after the plane had made two attempts to take off, he explained.

“Then the crash came... I pushed some metal aside and crawled out of a hole in the side of the plane.

“At first I thought I was the only one left. I could not realise I was alive myself, in fact. I thought I was dreaming.

“I lost both my shoes in the crash, then I found one of them and picked another up. I was running around barefoot in the snow, helping to get people out of the rubble.

“I think I was very lucky. I only got a nosebleed, and my back is sore, but it has been X-rayed at the hospital and I am told it is OK.”