Manchester United and Northern Ireland legend Harry Gregg will be bronzed in Coleraine Town Centre.
The achievements of the proud Coleraine man will be celebrated in the new statue, which was given the go ahead at a meeting of Coleraine Borough Council’s Leisure and Development committee last Tuesday night.
Gregg made 25 appearances for Northern Ireland and played for Manchester United during the reign of Sir Matt Busby with 247 appearances for the club.
A survivor of the Munich air crash in 1958, Gregg was one of the disaster’s great heroes.
Having escaped with just a bloody nose, he bravely went back into the wreckage to pull out those who were trapped.
The statue idea came from Harry’s close friend Liam Beckett.
Beckett told The Coleraine Times that Harry ‘typifies all he likes to see in a human being’.
“He is modest, he came from a working class background, he is a proud family man and he has a family that is very proud of him.
“Harry is not just a local star, he is a world star, and he’s still with us.
“He’s done enough in his career to warrant a statue in his home town, a place he is very proud of. If he was in England this would have been done a long time ago.”
At Tuesday night’s meeting members were told that a planning application for the statue had now been submitted and that Council would be supporting the project in kind.
Liam and his committee will now get to work on fund raisiing for the statue.
“We couldn’t do anything until we got the green light from the Council,” explained Liam.
Sculptor David Annand, who was responsible for the Robert Dunlop statue in Ballymoney, has already submitted a sketch to the planners. David has visited Coleraine, and he is very excited about the project.”
Liam says that he is hopeful that the statue will be in place by the end of 2015.
“It’s good that we can get the ball rolling now.
“Harry and his family will be consulted on every step of the project, it is important that it is right for them. I will get a committee in place now and we will begin raising the money.”