Bobby Charlton, a great player for Manchester United and England, died last month at the age of 86. On Monday, thousands of people lined the streets of Manchester to pay their respects.
Many people think he was one of England’s best players and won the 1966 World Cup. He died on October 21 after falling at his care home.
People cheered and waved flags as the funeral procession went by Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. It was going to a private funeral service at Manchester Cathedral.
The hearse went by the famous “United Trinity” statue, which honours Charlton, Denis Law, and George Best. It also went by a guard of honour made up of players from the club’s Under-18 and Under-21 teams.
A lot of black-and-white pictures showed Charlton’s long and successful career at the club, first as a player and then as a director.
At the private funeral service, which began at 1400 GMT, current and past players, as well as former United manager Alex Ferguson, England manager Gareth Southgate, and Prince William, the head of the Football Association, were among the 1,000 people who showed up.
“You’ve got to be a great player to win the World Cup, win the Champions League, and have such a long and successful career,” Bryan Robson, a former United captain, told the BBC outside of the church.
“But Sir Bob wasn’t just a great player, he was a great person and had time for everybody.”
Alex Stepney, a former friend, said that Charlton stayed humble despite his success.
“Nothing was over his head or anything like that, it was all about playing for Manchester United,” he stated. “Bobby Charlton was all about winning, even when he was playing for his country. A gentle person who loves his family. He never let it get to his head.
Winner of the World Cup
Along with his late brother Jack, Charlton was an important part of England’s World Cup-winning team in 1966. He played 106 times for England and scored 49 goals.
He also had a lot of success with United as a player. In 1968, United became the first English club to win the European Cup. This was ten years after he survived an aeroplane crash in Munich that killed eight of his friends.
Charlton became a member at the club where he made his name in 1984 and stayed a major figure there until the end of his life.
In 2020, it was reported that he had been diagnosed with dementia. As the disease got worse, he stopped going to Old Trafford games.
Ferguson led the team back to the top of European football and called the former player a “tower of strength” during his 26-year tenure as manager.
Before the Manchester derby against Manchester City, Ferguson wrote a tribute to his life in the matchday book. He said, “People loved him because of all those thunderbolt goals, but it was more than that.” My dad always said that being humble when you’re successful was a sign of greatness. That was Bobby.
“He never used to boast about his own achievements — it was always about the team and the club.”