Football world has started paying tributes to former Manchester United and England star Sir Bobby Charlton who died on Saturday at the age of 86.
Bobby’s family released a statement on Saturday afternoon, confirming his death.
“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 reads.
“He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and to the many people who have loved and supported him. We would request that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Ex-England star 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.”
United icon Gary Neville wrote: “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.”
Former England skipper John Terry also paid tribute, describing Charlton as “a true great and a wonderful man” as well as a “legend”. Similarly, Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher labelled him “an absolute gentleman”, adding that he was “the greatest English player of all time”.
Charlton’s former England colleague Sir Geoff Hurst also had some kind words. He said: “Very sad news today 1 of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away We will never forget him & nor will all of football A great colleague & friend he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone Condolences to his family & friends from Geoff and Judith.”
Bobby made 758 appearances for United, having joined them as a teenager in 1956. He went on to become arguably the greatest player in the club’s history, winning five major honours including three First Division titles as well the Red Devils’ maiden European Cup title in 1968.
Fellow England captain Jamie Carragher paid a touching tribute. The former Liverpool star said: “Absolute gentleman whenever I met him. No doubt for me the greatest English player of all time. RIP Sir Bobby.”
Charlton began his career with Man United and was famously one of the Best players during his playing days. He made over 750 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals – a previous club record – and winning three league titles and the European Cup.
Charlton won the 1966 Ballon d’Or and helped England to their only World Cup victory to date in the same year. In all, he earned 106 caps for the Three Lions and was their record goalscorer with 49 goals before seeing his record beaten by Wayne Rooney.
United will pay tribute to Charlton ahead of their match against Sheffield United with a minutes’ silence. The players will also wear black armbands