Sir Bobby Charlton: An England legend
A look at the career and life of the one and only Sir Bobby Charlton
A legend with both England and Manchester United, Sir Bobby Charlton will be forever remembered in English football following his achievements for both club and country.
He was a key member of the Three Lions team who lifted the World Cup on home soil in 1966 and is considered one of the greatest players of all time.
Capable of operating as a midfielder or a forward, due to his fantastic range of passing and a fierce shot from distance, he was an inspirational figure who made over 600 appearances for Manchester United.
On the international front, Ashington-born Charlton represented England as a schoolboy and for the junior teams before he went on to earn 106 senior caps and score 49 goals to set new records as our most capped player and highest goalscorer after he played his final game in 1970.
He remains England’s seventh-highest capped player and third highest goalscorer, with his goalscoring record only usurped by Wayne Rooney in 2015 and then Harry Kane in 2022.
Away from the glory, there was also tragedy in his career and Sir Bobby was a survivor of the 1958 Munich air disaster, which happened when the United squad were en-route home from a European Cup quarter-final victory over Red Star Belgrade in which Charlton had scored twice.
Despite the shock of eight teammates being among the 23 people who passed away and with his own injuries sustained in the disaster, Charlton returned to action less than a month after the accident and was a key figure as manager Matt Busby began to rebuilt United’s team in the following years.
After finishing as runners-up in the FA Cup in 1957 and 1958, just months after the Munich disaster, Charlton lifted the FA Cup at Wembley in 1963 to add to the English League titles he helped United to win in 1957, 1965 and 1967.
And ten years after the disaster, Charlton lifted the European Cup for United after scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Benfica as the Reds became the first English club to win do so.
Not only was Charlton revered for his on-field ability, he was equally inspirational off the pitch too as a supporter of numerous charities. He was knighted in 1994 and was given freedom of the city of Manchester in 2009.
The main training pitch at St. George’s Park, where both the men’s and women’s senior teams train was named as the Sir Bobby Charlton Pitch in 2017.
A full tribute to Sir Bobby will be paid at Wembley Stadium when England play Malta on Friday 17 November.
SIR BOBBY CHARLTON: ENGLAND PROFILE