Manchester United and England legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, 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.”
Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, 1937-2023.
Words will never be enough.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 21, 2023
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.”
💙 Everyone at Preston North End is deeply saddened to learn of the news that our former player and manager, Bobby Charlton has passed away.
A true legend of our game. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.#pnefc pic.twitter.com/i2Uk8niygq
— Preston North End FC (@pnefc) October 21, 2023
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”.