Legendary Manchester United player Bobby Charlton, who led England to its only World Cup title in 1966, died at the age of 86, the club announced on Saturday.
No cause of death was revealed. After Charlton’s death, Geoff Hurst is now the only living member of the 1966 World Cup-winning England team.
In 1958, Charlton survived the Munich air disaster when a British European Airways plane carrying the Manchester United team crashed on its third attempt at takeoff, killing eight of Charlton’s teammates.
“Manchester United is in mourning following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club,” the Premier League team said in a statement.
Charlton, who played a major role in securing the European Cup for Manchester United in 1968 and scored two goals in the game, is remembered for being a “giant of the game” who inspired fans and other players globally.
“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.
The Premier League said they were “deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest players in English football history. Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to Sir Bobby’s family and friends, and to all at Manchester United.”
Charlton had a long history with Manchester United, joining its youth academy as a child and then playing for the club for 17 years. During his time with the team, he scored 249 goals in 758 games and picked up three league titles and the FA Cup, in addition to the European Cup.
“His unparalleled record of achievement, character, and service will be forever etched in the history of Manchester United and English football,” the statement said.
Geoff Hurst, Charlton’s World Cup teammate, remembered the late player, writing on social media that he was “one of the true greats.”
“We will never forget him, nor will all of football,” Hurst said. “A great colleague and friend, he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone.”.
In conclusion, after his retirement as a footballer, Charlton continued working with Manchester United, serving as the director of the club for 39 years.
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