England won their first and so far only World Cup with his indelible signature, an endless string of victories with his favorite club Manchester United, and the distinction of being considered the greatest British footballer of all time. The “cradle” of football and the rest of the football world, between the past, present and future, mourns Bobby Charlton, the legend of the Three Lions and Red Devils, who passed away at the age of 86. Starting in the club’s academy, Sir Bobby made 758 appearances and scored 249 goals during his 17 years as a Manchester United player, winning the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup. He made 106 appearances for England, scoring 49 goals and winning the Cup. 1966 World Cup, the year he also won the Ballon d’Or.
“There has never been a footballer more highly regarded than him – as United’s legendary coach Matt Busby said – he was close to perfect, both as a man and a player.” Even today, Charlton ranks 12th in the special ranking of the best footballers of the 20th century published by World Soccer magazine. “His unparalleled record of success and character will forever be etched in the history of United and English football – remembered by his historic club, where he served for a long period as manager -. His legacy will continue to live on through Sir Bobby.” Charlton Foundation.” United flag, as captain, led the Red Devils to win their first European Cup with Dennis Law and George Best, with whom he formed a legendary attacking line. Until 21 May 2008, he was also the club record holder (758), later surpassed by Ryan Giggs. Posthumously, Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored the famous hat-trick in England’s 4-2 win over West Germany at Wembley, is the only 1966 world champion still alive. After the death of Harry Greig in 2020, he was the last Red Devils player to survive the Munich air disaster, when 23 people died on February 6, 1958. A drama similar to Superga’s that affected him deeply.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t remember what happened and the people who left – he said years ago when they returned to the Bavarian city -. Manchester United would have become one of the greatest teams in Europe. That tragedy changed everything.” He was lucky enough to “find himself sitting in the right place on the plane.” “I probably joined the first team and the national team earlier than I would have if the plane had not crashed.” Since then, he has done everything in his power to deserve it. He was even named Sir by Queen Elizabeth. The hero’s life remained on hold in November 2020 when he was diagnosed with dementia, just four months after the death of his older brother Jack Charlton, another 1966 hero, who passed away at the age of 85. With whom he had had a relationship for some time – sometimes even stormy – until his death was announced today by his family with a statement: “It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed away peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was surrounded by his family – we read – “His family would like to thank everyone who contributed to his care and the many people who loved and supported him.” No English or Manchester United fan will forget that. Old Trafford’s south stand is dedicated to Bobby, and a statue depicting him with Best and Law was erected outside it 15 years ago, instantly becoming a pilgrimage destination this evening.
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