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Award for Munich air crash hero

1 October 08 01:46 GMT

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg has been honoured at a ceremony for Britain's unsung heroes.

The 76-year-old's actions in the Munich air crash in 1958 were marked with a Special Recognition award at the Daily Mirror's Pride Of Britain ceremony.

Gregg helped pull a pregnant woman and her daughter, and several team-mates, from the wreckage of the aircraft.

Others to receive awards included Richard Taylor, 59, father of murdered 10-year-old Damilola Taylor.

The Munich air disaster happened on 6 February 1958, when a plane carrying Manchester United footballers back from a European tie in Belgrade crashed in a blizzard after refuelling at Munich airport.

Twenty-three people died, including United players, backroom staff and journalists.

On the 50th anniversary of the crash earlier this year, Gregg returned to the scene and met Vera Luckic, whom he had rescued, and the son she was pregnant with at the time.

Gregg received his award from footballing star Gary Lineker.

'Decency and courage'

Mr Taylor was presented with his award by Brooke Kinsella, sister of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella who was killed in London this year.

Mr Taylor said: "We are going to stand shoulder to shoulder from now on, and fight on the street against gun and knife crime."

Young award winners included six-year-old Jaden Ashton who called 999 when his mother fell into a diabetic coma, and Carl Duval, 16, who saved a woman who had fallen off a railway platform on to the tracks.

Liam Fairhurst, 13, from Soham in Cambridgeshire, who has cancer himself, has raised thousands of pounds to help other children combat the disease.

The Prince of Wales appeared by video link to present the Prince's Trust Young Achiever award to Ricky McCalla, 26, from Bromley, Kent.

Mr McCalla was shot and partially paralysed in a carjacking, but mentors young people at risk of becoming involved in crime.

The prince said: "These marvellous awards reminds us of the compassion, decency and courage which still exists in every corner of the land."

'Greatest pride'

L/Cpl Matthew Croucher, 24, from Solihull, was honoured after he saved the lives of three comrades in Afghanistan by using his backpack to cover shrapnel fragments from a blast.

Juby Mathew, 31, from Huddersfield, was awarded for saving a toddler from being savaged by a dog, resulting in injuries which forced him off work for five months.

Truck driver Bernie Butler, 68, from Kirkby, Merseyside, risked his life to rescue a man after a lorry collided with a gas tanker on the M6.

The British Olympic and Paralympic team won a combined prize for their success in Beijing.

Among the guests attending the ceremony were Prime Minister Gordon Brown, tycoon Sir Richard Branson and actor Sir Michael Caine.

Mr Brown said: "The Pride of Britain Awards has become a highlight of our national calendar.

"Their enduring success illustrates that we as a country take the greatest pride in those who show the courage to go beyond the call of duty, the dedication to support and tend for loved ones and families, and the inspiration to transform communities."

The judges included the prime minister's wife Sarah Brown, heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub and double Olympic gold-medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes.

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