The PFA joins with the entire football community in paying heartfelt tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton, Manchester United and England legend.
There are few who have led careers comparable to that of Sir Bobby. As a graduate of Manchester United’s Youth Academy, he led a distinguished 17-year career with United, winning three league titles, the FA Cup and a European Cup. He is widely regarded as one of the club’s best ever players, scoring 249 goals in 758 appearances.
Charlton was also part of the legendary England side to lift the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Sir Bobby scored three during the campaign, etching himself and the team into football history. His personal contribution saw him named in the competition’s team of the tournament, and he was also awarded the 1966 Ballon d’Or.
Sir Bobby was admired as much for his off-pitch commitment to the game as he was for his footballing talents. Following his retirement, he remained a steadfast influence on Manchester United, where he served as director for almost 40 years. He also leveraged his global recognition to support victims of war and conflict across the world via the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.
A Northumbrian hero, Sir Bobby grew up in the North East mining town of Ashington alongside his brother and fellow 1966 World Cup winner Jack. His talent from a young age was clear to all those who played with him, and Sir Bobby’s childhood dream to reach the highest level of the game was more than achieved.
Sir Bobby’s monumental impact on English football – and sport – is hard to quantify, but he will forever be remembered as one of the all-time greats. The PFA fondly recalls awarding Sir Bobby with the union’s first Merit Award for outstanding service to football in 1974.
Our thoughts are with Sir Bobby’s wife Norma, his two daughters Suzanne and Andrea, and all those that loved him.
Rest in peace, Sir Bobby.