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Football

Sir Bobby Charlton: Man Utd and England legend dies aged 86

Charlton is regarded as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players, scoring 249 goals in 758 appearances. He won the European Cup with United in 1968, as well as three First Division titles; Ashington-born Charlton also won the World Cup with England in 1966

12:59, UK, Monday 23 October 2023

 

 

Gary Neville pays tribute to Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton after he died aged 86 on Saturday

Sir Bobby Charlton, the Manchester United and England legend, has died aged 86.

 

Charlton is regarded as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players, scoring 249 goals in 758 appearances between 1956 and 1973. He won the European Cup with United in 1968, as well as three First Division titles.

 

The 1966 World Cup winner earned 106 caps for England, scoring 49 times, a goalscoring record which he held from 1970 to 2015.

 

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“It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning,” a statement from his family read.

 

Man Utd legend, World Cup winner, gentleman – Sir Bobby Charlton obituary

“He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and for the many people who have loved and supported him.

 

“We would request that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.”

 

Manchester United also paid their own tribute to Charlton who they called “one of the greatest and most beloved players in the club’s history”.

 

“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world,” a club statement read.

 

“He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game.

 

“A graduate of our youth Academy, Sir Bobby played 758 games and scored 249 goals during 17 years as a Manchester United player, winning the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup. For England, he won 106 caps and scored 49 goals for England, and won the 1966 World Cup.

 

“Following his retirement, he went on to serve the club with distinction as a director for 39 years. His unparalleled record of achievement, character and service will be forever etched in the history of Manchester United and English football; and his legacy will live on through the life-changing work of the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.

 

“The club’s heartfelt sympathies are with his wife Lady Norma, his daughters and grandchildren, and all who loved him.”

 

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has paid respects to “one of the greatest players of all time”.

 

He called Sir Bobby’s lifting of the European Cup in 1968 “an absolute milestone” for the club.

 

Centre-back Raphael Varane has also posted to social media site X, calling Sir Bobby “the biggest [club giant] of them all”.

 

Meanwhile, former United goalkeeper David De Gea has also posted a tribute to “a legend and true pillar of Manchester United”.

 

Charlton’s club career is most closely associated with Manchester United but he also played for and managed Preston North End.

 

They have hailed him as “a true legend of our game”.

 

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville wrote on X: “So sorry to hear the news of Sir Bobby Charlton. The Greatest English Football player and Manchester United’s greatest ambassador. A champion on and off the pitch and a Busby Babe that paved the way for all to come at United. Rest In Peace Sir Bobby.”

 

 

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Tributes have been pouring in for the Man Utd legend

Manchester United wore black armbands during Saturday’s match against Sheffield United. Club captain Bruno Fernandes laid a wreath in the centre circle as a minute’s applause was held before kick-off in the Premier League match at Bramall Lane.

 

 

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A poignant moment before kick-off at Bramall Lane

Speaking ahead of the game, manager Erik ten Hag said: “The whole football world is losing a legend, a big personality, a giant. He was that on the pitch and definitely also off the pitch. He set the standard as a Manchester United player. What he achieved is an example for us.”

 

A book of condolence will be open to fans and the public on Sunday from 10am in the International Suite at Old Trafford.

 

Ahead of his side’s clash with Sheffield United, Bruno Fernandes lays a wreath in honour of Sir Bobby Charlton after the Manchester United and England legend died aged 86.

In addition to the physical book of condolence at Old Trafford, Man Utd have also produced an online version for those who want to pay their respects but can’t get to the stadium.

 

Speaking on Saturday after Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Brighton, Pep Guardiola said: “He retired not long after I was born, but I have obviously seen his highlights. I’m sorry on behalf of the Man City family, to the Man Utd family, his family, the England family.

 

“These kind of players represent English football like no-one else can do. I think next week when we are there, we will be able to make a tribute.

 

 

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A tribute to Charlton at the Riverside Stadium

“I love this country for many things, but one of the big things is how they take care of their legends, they are cherished.”

 

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said: “An incredible man first and foremost. And an incredible footballer, he’s done incredible things for his his country and his club, Manchester United. So a really sad loss for everyone.”

 

 

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A statue of Charlton as part of the ‘United Trinity’

Middlesbrough manager and former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick said he was “devastated” to hear of Charlton’s death.

 

He said: “My mind went back to the moments I shared with Bobby – an inspirational character and such an iconic figure, you don’t always get those in world football.

 

 

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A tribute to Charlton at Stamford Bridge

“In a Manchester United family, he cared so much about the players, the club and showed nothing but pure support for us in his blazer and suit. He was proud to show what it was about to play for Manchester United and pass that on.

 

“He had an incredible career and to be in a position to be humble enough to pass that on to support the players, when he could have just been a figure, is so inspirational.”

 

Neville: England’s greatest player and ambassador

Gary Neville pays his respects to Sir Bobby Charlton after news the former Manchester United midfielder passed away. Neville discusses just how iconic Charlton has been for English football and Manchester United

Sky Sports pundit and former Man Utd captain Gary Neville:

 

“He’s Man Utd’s greatest representative around the world and has been for 50 to 60 years. He was one of the Busby Babes, he was part of that tragic Munich air crash, he survived it and lost a lot of his team-mates and colleagues and came through. He won youth cups at Man Utd under Sir Matt Busby then went on to win the European Cup, the World Cup and then in the more modern era was a director of the club.

 

“He used to come into the changing room after every single match win, lose or draw. It was something that as a player at the club you might take for granted. An icon, a legend walking around your changing room saying well done or offering his commiserations and trying to pick you up if you’d lost the game. It’s obviously a great loss.

 

“There’s no doubt he’s English football’s greatest player and English football’s greatest ambassador more importantly. A champion on the pitch and off the pitch.

 

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A wreath and flowers outside Old Trafford

“When I joined Man Utd, Sir Alex Ferguson brought Nobby Stiles and Brian Kidd in. Bobby was a director at the club but those other European Cup winners were brought in to remind us of the club’s history. The likes of Duncan Edwards and those lads that died in the Munich air crash, Bobby surviving it was instilled in you every day, how important it was.

 

“When you think of the Man Utd blazers the players wear currently and we wore through the 90s and 2000s, they were the blazers that the Busby Babes wore and for those traditions and standards you couldn’t have anybody better than Sir Bobby Charlton to represent that.

 

“What Sir Bobby Charlton did was a great example of how you can have a great ambassador of the club, someone who was a legend of the club who does it very well in the boardroom, represented Man Utd in the right way.

 

“The way in which he spoke about the club was incredible. He was the golden thread from Sir Matt Busby to Sir Alex Ferguson, two golden eras in Man Utd’s era, and he was the constant through both of them.”

 

Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick mourns the loss of Sir Bobby Charlton, after he sadly passed away at the age of 86

‘It all began with Sir Bobby’ – tributes paid to Man Utd and England legend

Ex-England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker hailed Charlton’s lasting impact on the sport – saying he had achieved “footballing immortality”.

 

“Deeply saddened to hear that Sir Bobby Charlton has died. A truly wonderful footballer and genuinely lovely man. A World Cup winner, @ManUtd great and, for me, England’s greatest ever player. He may longer be with us but he’ll have footballing immortality. RIP Sir Bobby,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

 

Charlton’s death means Sir Geoff Hurst is now the only man who started the 1966 World Cup final win over West Germany who is still alive.

 

Hurst, who hit a hat-trick in the 4-2 victory, also paid respect to his former team-mate, writing: “Very sad news today. 1 of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away. We will never forget him & nor will all of football. A great colleague & friend he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone. Condolences to his family & friends from Geoff and Judith,” he wrote.

 

Rio Ferdinand, another former captain of both England and United, posted a lengthy tribute to Charlton – dubbing him “Mr Manchester United”.

 

“Icon, Legend, Great! these words are thrown around by all of us to many who 100% don’t deserve them, especially when you compare them to man of Sir Bobby’s calibre. What a true gentleman of not many words, but when he spoke you stood still, stopped what you were doing and listened.

 

Gary Neville pays tribute to Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton after he died aged 86 on Saturday

“A lot of the history was living and breathing through him and he was a constant at the club while I was there – travelling with us all over the world. Win, lose or draw he would be in the changing room wishing us well. The words he shared with me at the bottom of those stairs in Moscow, before I went up to lift the CL trophy will stay with me forever.

 

“What it meant to lift that trophy for Man Utd, what it meant for the fans, what it meant for us as a team and what it now meant for myself doing it as captain. It was a privilege for me to even get that moment with him at that specific time. Thank you Sir Bobby. Mr Manchester United. RIP.”

 

“It is with a heavy heart that we have learned of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton,” the official England account tweeted.

 

Wayne Rooney pays tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton after the sad news that the former Manchester United and England midfielder passed away

“An integral part of our 1966 FIFA World Cup winning campaign, Sir Bobby won 106 caps and scored 49 times for the #ThreeLions.

 

“A true legend of our game. We will never forget you, Sir Bobby.”

 

England manager Gareth Southgate added: “One of our most iconic players, Sir Bobby Charlton’s impact on our only World Cup triumph is there for all to see.

 

“The privilege of meeting him on several occasions allowed me to understand his personal pride and emotion in having represented England and simply confirmed in my mind his standing as one of the gentlemen of the game.

 

“The world of football will unite in its sadness at losing an undisputed legend.”

 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Charlton’s impact on football “spanned generations”.

 

“On behalf of FIFA, and the global football family, I send my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sir Bobby Charlton,” Infantino said on social media.

 

“We mourn the loss of one of England’s 1966 FIFA World Cup winning team and a football legend, whose impact on the game spanned generations.

 

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag and long serving midfielder Scott McTominay pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton ahead of their match against Sheffield United

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was close to him, his former teammates, The Football Association and Manchester United. Rest In Peace.”

 

In its own tribute, UEFA added: “On behalf of the entire European football community, we are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the game’s true greats. Rest in peace, Sir Bobby.”

 

Rory McIlroy pays tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton after news the former Manchester United midfielder passed away

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Our thoughts are with Sir Bobby Charlton’s family, and all those who loved him, following the tragic news that he has died with dementia.

 

“It’s absolutely devastating that Sir Bobby’s final years were blighted by dementia, but unfortunately this is the case for almost one million people in the UK today.

 

“At Alzheimer’s Research UK, we are determined to change the ending for everyone affected by dementia by finding a cure and the awful news about Sir Bobby highlights that we don’t have a moment to waste.”

 

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