Manchester United icon and vital member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, Sir Bobby Charlton, has passed away at 86.
Charlton’s family said he “passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning”.
He was hailed as “England’s greatest player” and “an undisputed legend” as tributes flowed.
In November 2020, it was revealed that Sir Bobby Charlton had been diagnosed with dementia, just as his older brother, Jack, passed away in July 2020, as well as World Cup winner, Nobby Stiles, sadly also suffered from dementia before his death in October 2020.
He died surrounded by his family, who said in a statement they wished 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,” the statement added, as the family said his loss was felt “with great sadness”.
United said Charlton ranked as “one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club”.
“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world,” the club said.
“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.
Erik ten Hag’s current United team wore black armbands for Saturday evening’s Premier League game at Sheffield United, with home and away supporters applauding in a tribute ahead of kick-off.
Charlton’s death leaves Sir Geoff Hurst – the striker who scored a hat-trick in England’s 4-2 win over West Germany in the 1966 final – as the sole surviving member of the triumphant team