Sir Robert Charlton, born on October 11, 1937, and passing away on October 21, 2023, was a renowned English footballer.
He excelled in various positions, including attacking midfielder, central midfielder, and left winger. Widely regarded as one of the greatest football players ever, he was part of the England team that clinched the 1966 FIFA World Cup, which was also the year he earned the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
Charlton was the runner-up in the Ballon d’Or voting for both 1967 and 1968.
Most of his club career was spent at Manchester United, where he gained fame for his attacking style of play, exceptional passing skills from midfield, powerful long-range shots using both feet, outstanding fitness, and remarkable stamina. It’s worth noting that he received only two cautions in his entire career: once during a match against Argentina in the 1966 World Cup and once in a league game against Chelsea.
Charlton was part of an elite group of nine players who achieved the remarkable feat of winning the FIFA World Cup, the European Cup, and the Ballon d’Or. His older brother, Jack, who was also part of the World Cup-winning team, had a successful career as a defender for Leeds United and as an international manager.
Charlton is celebrated as one of Manchester United’s all-time great players, having scored an impressive 249 goals in 758 appearances during his tenure at the club from 1956 to 1973. His achievements include winning the European Cup in 1968 and clinching three First Division titles.
Additionally, he contributed significantly to England’s success, playing a pivotal role in their World Cup victory in 1966.
In a statement from his family, they shared the sad news of his peaceful passing, on the morning of October 21, 2023, Charlton’s family announced that he had passed away at the age of 86 due to complications from dementia and expressed their gratitude for the care and support he received.
They also requested privacy during this difficult time.
Manchester United paid a heartfelt tribute to Charlton, acknowledging him as one of the most beloved players in the club’s history. They highlighted his sportsmanship, integrity, and remarkable football skills, reminiscing his 758 games played and 249 goals scored for the club.
Casemiro, a midfielder from Manchester United, acknowledged Sir Bobby’s impact, particularly his historic lifting of the European Cup in 1968. Raphael Varane also recognized Charlton as a club giant.
Other football figures, including David De Gea, Gary Neville, and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, offered their tributes and condolences, emphasizing Charlton’s lasting influence on English football.
A book of condolence was made available for fans and the public to pay their respects at Old Trafford. In addition, an online version was provided for those unable to visit the stadium.
Eddie Howe, the manager of Newcastle, and Michael Carrick, former Manchester United midfielder and current Middlesbrough manager, expressed their deep sadness at the loss of Charlton, highlighting his inspirational character and iconic status in world football.
Sir Bobby Charlton’s legacy as a player, survivor of the Munich air crash, director of Manchester United, and football ambassador will forever be cherished, leaving an indelible mark on the sport’s history.
With his passing, Geoff Hurst is now the sole surviving English player from the 1966 World Cup final.”