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 between 1956 and 1973

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.

"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.

"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."

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."

Manchester United will wear black armbands during Saturday's match against Sheffield United, and the pre-planned minute's silence will be expanded to pay respects to Charlton.

A wreath will been laid at the Trinity Statue at Old Trafford on behalf of the club as fans also begin to lay floral tributes at the stadium. A book of condolence will be open to fans and the public on Sunday from 10am in the International Suite at Old Trafford.

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.

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

"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.

"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."

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