Liverpool FC have paid tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton after his death in the early hours of Saturday morning, aged 86.
The Merseyside club said: “The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool FC are with Sir Bobby’s family, friends, Manchester United and all those close to him.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher tweeted: “Absolute gentleman whenever I met him. No doubt for me the greatest English player of all time. RIP Sir Bobby.”
Despite the huge rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United, a kind-hearted Bobby Charlton has had a strong relationship with the Merseyside club over the years. He developed a close relationship with legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly off the pitch.
In September 2012, Sir Bobby was part of a tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster at Anfield.
He also personally invited families of the 97 victims who died in the tragedy to Old Trafford to watch a match between the two clubs in April 1989.
His family said: “It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and for the many people who have loved and supported him.”
Sir Bobby is regarded as one of the greatest footballers to play for Manchester United.
He made 758 appearances for the club, scoring 249 times winning three first division titles as well as the European cup in 1968.
He was a key figure in the 1966 England side
The ‘Red Devils’ renamed the South Stand at old Trafford to the Sir Bobby Charlton stand in 2016.
He was a key figure in the 1966 England side that lifted the countries only World Cup, beating West Germany 4-2 in the final. Wayne Rooney broke his England goal scoring record of 49 goals in 2015 that he held for 45 years.
Bobby Charlton was knighted in 1994 and was given the freedom of the city of Manchester in 2009. Both the men’s and women’s pitches at England’s training base, St George’s Park were named as the Sir Bobby Charlton Pitch in 2017.
In November 2020, Sir Bobby was diagnosed with dementia, just four months after his brother, Jack, died at the age of 85.
The midfielder is one of nine players to have won both the World Cup and the Ballon D’or, winning it in 1966 following his world cup heroics. Michael Owen is the only other player from England to receive the prestigious award, while playing for Liverpool in 2001.
Manchester United paid tribute in their first home fixture since Sir Bobby’s death by laying a wreath before the game, holding a minute’s silence and wearing black bands.
- If you need or know anybody who needs support due to the effects of dementia, visit the Dementia UK website
- If you would like to donate or get involved with Sir Bobby’s charity, click here
Featured image via Alamy