Man Utd News: Manchester United and England legend Bobby

English football is in mourning after Manchester United announced the death of Sir Bobby Charlton at the age of 86.

The former player was a legend of Manchester United, with whom he won the European Cup in 1968, and of England, with whom he won the World Cup in 1966. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 1966.

He had a brief managerial career between 1973 and 1983 with Preston North End and Wigan Athletic, before joining the board of directors at United, where he had spent 17 years as a player.

“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions of people, not just in Manchester or the UK, but anywhere in the world where soccer is played. He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as for his outstanding qualities as a footballer. Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game,” said United, who play tonight (21:00) at Sheffield United.

“A World Cup winner, a Manchester United great and, for me, England’s greatest player. He may no longer be with us, but he has footballing immortality. Rest in peace,” tweeted former player Gary Lineker. “England’s greatest player and United’s greatest ambassador. A champion on and off the pitch,” said Gary Neville.

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Charlton was born in Ashington in 1937 into a family with several footballers on his mother’s side (the Milburns). A modern day all-rounder, Bobby was a ‘box to box’ player who started in the middle, set up play and reached the box with danger. He is considered one of the most important players in history beyond just United and England. Some placed him close to Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona and Cruyff.

In 1953 he joined United’s youth academy and played at Old Trafford between 1956 and 1973. He played 758 games and scored 249 goals during those 17 years in which he won three Leagues, an FA Cup and a European Cup in 1968 as a member of the Holy Trinity in which he shone alongside George Best and Denis Law. That year, in which he lifted the trophy, he won the Golden Ball. The second after the one he won in 1967.

However, with United he lived through an incredibly hard moment when he survived the 1958 Munich Air Disaster in which 23 people died, eight of them footballers who were returning from Belgrade from a European Cup duel. Ten years later, the survivors won the European Cup at Wembley against Eusebio’s Benfica (4-1) with a double from Charlton.

After succeeding at United, Charlton played for Preston, Waterford, Newcastle KB United, Perth Azzurri and Blacktown City, retiring in 1980. As a manager, he had just two adventures at Preston as a player-coach (1973-75) and at Wigan (1983). However, after his retirement, he was linked to United as a director. He was one of its great ambassadors. A regular at Old Trafford.

World Cup winner with England

Charlton is considered one of the best players in England’s history. He played in four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1968) being champion at Wembley in 66′. The only title won by the ‘Three Lions’ was achieved with a man of the match performance from Charlton.

He played 106 games and scored 49 goals for England. His scoring record lasted 40 years until Wayne Rooney first (2015) and Harry Kane later (2022) beat him. Of the 1966 champions, only Sir Geoff Hurst survives.

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

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