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21st Oct 2023

World of football pays tribute to ‘England’s greatest’ Sir Bobby Charlton

Charlie Herbert

World of football pays tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton

‘For me, England’s greatest ever player’

Tributes have flooded in from across the world of football for Sir Bobby Charlton following the news of his passing at the age of 86.

This afternoon, the Charlton family announced Sir Bobby had “passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning”, surrounded by family.

A World Cup winner with England in 1966, it was at Manchester United where he spent almost the entirety of his club career after coming through the club’s academy.

The club paid tribute to him in a statement shared on Saturday.

Bobby Charlton raises the World Cup in the air following England's 4-2 victory over West Germany in 1966 (Getty)

Meanwhile, figures from Manchester United and the footballing world have also shared tributes, with several labelling him England’s greatest ever player.

As part of Sky Sport’s build-up to Chelsea vs Arsenal, Gary Neville labelled Sir Bobby “English football’s greatest player and English football’s greatest ambassador.”

Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand penned a lengthy tribute to Charlton, in which he described him as “Mr Manchester United.”

He wrote: “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.”

Match of the Day host and former England striker Gary Lineker wrote: “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 no longer be with us but he’ll have footballing immortality. RIP Sir Bobby”

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher said that for him Charlton was “the greatest English player of all time.”

Liverpool themselves also paid tribute, calling him a “true footballing great whose legacy will live on.”

He had a glittering 17-year Manchester United career, in which he made 606 appearances and won three league titles, a European Cup and an FA Cup.

Charlton was one of the famed Busby Babes of the 1950s, and survived the Munich air disaster in February 1958, in which eight of his Manchester United teammates tragically died.

Along with his United career, Charlton won 106 caps for England and scored 49 international goals – records for his country at the time.

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