‘Greatest Ever’ - Tributes paid as England legend Sir Bobby Charlton dies aged 86

STATESMAN: SIr Bobby Charlton's global reputation made him a leading football ambassador in later lifeSTATESMAN: SIr Bobby Charlton's global reputation made him a leading football ambassador in later life
STATESMAN: SIr Bobby Charlton's global reputation made him a leading football ambassador in later life
Tributes have been pouring in after the death of England and Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton.

England World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away at the age of 86. The Manchester United legend “passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning,” according to his family.

Charlton was diagnosed with dementia in November 2020 and passed peacefully at his home on Saturday morning. He managed a legendary career, representing United for 17 years at senior level, winning three league titles, a European Cup and an FA Cup,

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Charlton made as many as 106 appearances for England at senior level, winning the World Cup in 1966 and scoring 49 international goals during his career. His goals and appearances set England records at the time.

United paid tribute to Charlton in a club statement, saying: “Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world. 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.

“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.”

A number of former and current players have also paid tribute to Charlton on social media. Here we round up some of those tributes.

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Sir Geoff Hurst - “Very sad news today. One of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away. We will never forget him and nor will all of football. A great colleague and friend, he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone. Condolences to his family and friends.”

Rio Ferdinand - “Sir Bobby. 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. 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.”

Gary Lineker - “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. “

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Gary Neville - “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.”

David De Gea - “A legend and true pillar of Manchester United, whenever people think of the club around the world, they think of Sir Bobby Charlton. You will be missed throughout football. RIP.”

Casemiro - “European Cup winner, World Cup winner, Ballon d’Or winner and one of the greatest Manchester United players of all time. Lifting the European Cup of 1968 with Red Devils was an absolute milestone for the legendary history of our club. Rest In Peace Sir Bobby Charlton.”

Neil Warnock - “Very sad to hear the news of the great Sir Bobby Charlton passing. He made the game look so easy, gliding across the pitch and a thunderbolt of a shot that never seemed to miss the target Always such a gentleman whenever I met him, lovely man England’s greatest ever. RIP.”

John Terry - “ RIP Sir Bobby Charlton Heartbreaking news A True great and a wonderful man. My condolences are with the Charlton family at this terribly sad time. LEGEND.”

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