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Bobby Charlton death: Tributes and praise pour in for the Manchester United and England football great

People walk past an image of former Manchester United player Bobby Charlton outside of Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester, central England, on October 22, 2023, following the death of Bobby Charlton. England World Cup winner and Manchester United great Bobby Charlton, described by the club as a
Tributes have poured in for footballing legend Bobby Charlton.

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Tributes have poured in from across the world for footballing legend Sir Bobby Charlton following his death at the age of 86.

Charlton's family announced on Saturday afternoon that he had died peacefully in the early hours of the morning surrounded by his loved ones.

His death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from the footballing world and beyond, with many describing the Manchester United and England great as a "legend".

Charlton was a key member of England's victorious 1966 World Cup team and also enjoyed great success at club level with United, who became the first English team to win the European Cup in 1968.

He was knighted for services to football in 1994.

Tributes have been paid by Manchester United, as well as by fellow footballers and Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Prince William, president of the Football Association.

Read more: Manchester United and England great Sir Bobby Charlton dies at 86 (PA)

Yahoo News looks at the legacy of Sir Bobby Charlton.

Tributes paid to footballing legend

A fan lays a football shirt in tribute at the base of the 'United Trinity' sculpture, depicting former Manchester United players George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, following the death of Bobby Charlton, outside of Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester, central England, on October 22, 2023. England World Cup winner and Manchester United great Bobby Charlton, described by the club as a
Fans have been laying tributes to Charlton at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground.

Tributes to Charlton were led by Manchester United, which described him as "one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club".

It a statement, the club said: "Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.

"He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game."

Prince William, president of the Football Association, posted a tribute on social media, saying: "Sir Bobby Charlton. First Division Champion. European Champion. World Champion. Gentleman. Legend. A true great who will be remembered forever. Thank you Sir Bobby. W."

The official England team account on X, formerly known as Twitter, described Charlton as a "true legend of our game", while England manager Gareth Southgate said he was "one of our most iconic players" and "one of the gentlemen of the game", adding: "The world of football will unite in its sadness at losing an undisputed legend."

United manager Erik ten Hag described Charlton as "a legend" and "a giant" as he paid his own tribute after his side's 2-1 win at Sheffield United on Saturday.

Read more: Tributes paid to 'giant of the game' Sir Bobby Charlton after his death at 86 (PA)

Sir Bobby Charlton: One of the game's greatest players

2nd October 2017 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (Group F) - England Training - England manager Gareth Southgate (R) poses with Sir Bobby Charlton after presenting him with a commemorative shirt to mark his 80th birthday and the renaming of the main training pitch at St. George's Park - (Photo by Simon Stacpoole / Offside / Getty Images)
Charlton, pictured with England manager Gareth Southgate, has been described as one of the greatest football players of all time.

Born in Ashington on 11 October, 1937, Charlton made his debut for United in 1956 and went on to play 758 matches for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals.

He made his England debut against Scotland at Hampden Park in April 1958, just over two months after he had survived the Munich air disaster.

He was not selected for England's 1958 World Cup squad that summer, but played at the tournament in 1962, 1966 and 1970.

Charlton scored three times at the 1966 World Cup, including both goals in the 2-1 semi-final victory over Portugal, and ended his England career at the age of 32 following the team's quarter-final exit to West Germany in 1970.

Charlton won three league titles and one FA Cup at Old Trafford and, after leaving United in 1973 and becoming Preston manager, he returned to Manchester United 11 years later as a club director. He was knighted for services to football in 1994.

He was diagnosed with dementia and the announcement of his condition made public in November 2020, two days after his United and England team-mate Nobby Stiles died following his own battle with the illness.

David Beckham 'grateful to be named after' Bobby Charlton

Former English footballer David Beckham (R) talks with Former England footballer Bobby Charlton (L) in the royal box on centre court as Spain's Rafael Nadal plays against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin during their men's singles third round match on day six of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES  - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by Andrew YATES / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images)
David Beckham has paid a touching tribute to Charlton.

David Beckham paid a touching tribute to Charlton, dubbing him a 'national hero'.

The former England captain, who went on to play for Manchester United after attending Bobby Charlton's Soccer School, was given the middle name Robert in honour of the famous footballer.

In a post on Instagram, Beckham said: "It all began with Sir Bobby. Sir Bobby was the reason I had the opportunity to play for Manchester United.

"I will be forever grateful to a man I was named after, someone I looked up to and was a hero to many around the world not just in Manchester and our country where he won the World Cup in 1966."

It was at Bobby Charlton's Soccer School that a 10-year-old Beckham was spotted by Charlton, who had taken on the role of director at Manchester United.

"To look back all those years ago and to say Sir Bobby was one of the main reasons why I was able to join Manchester United," Beckham told the BBC in 2017.

"Because after being at his soccer school, he passed the word on to the club that maybe you should look out for me."

Alzheimer's Research UK determined to find dementia cure

Sir Bobby Charlton arrives for the funeral of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Harry Gregg, at St Patrick's Parsh Church, Coleraine. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)
Charlton was diagnosed with dementia in 2020.

Charlton was diagnosed with dementia and the announcement of his condition made public in November 2020.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Our thoughts are with Sir Bobby Charlton's family, and all those who loved him, following the tragic news that he has died with dementia.

"It's absolutely devastating that Sir Bobby's final years were blighted by dementia, but unfortunately this is the case for almost one million people in the UK today.

"At Alzheimer's Research UK, we are determined to change the ending for everyone affected by dementia by finding a cure and the awful news about Sir Bobby highlights that we don't have a moment to waste."

A statement on behalf of Charlton's family read: "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. We would request that the family's privacy be respected at this time."

Sir Bobby Charlton's glorious career in pictures

FILE - In this July 30, 1966 file photo, England's soccer team captain Bobby Moore, carried shoulder high by his teammates, holds aloft the Jules Rimet World Cup. England defeated West Germany 4-2 in the final, played at London's Wembley Stadium. From left to right, goalkeeper Gordon Banks, Alan Ball, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Moore, Ray Wilson, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton. Peters, who scored one of England's goals in its victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 76. Peters' family announced his death on Saturday,
Charlton (pictured right) scored one of England's goals in its victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

Charlton had a glittering career, with world-famous images marking some of his historic moments.

These images include his involvement in the 1963 FA Cup final, as well as several World Cup matches, including when he played with brother Jack for England for the first time in a 2-2 draw with Scotland in April 1965.

One image shows Charlton appearing overcome with emotion as England captain Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup trophy at Wembley following the defeat of West Germany in 1966.

Since his retirement, images captured Charlton's ongoing involvement in football, often in the stands at Old Trafford and alongside his wife Lady Norma.

His various accolades were also caught on camera, from receiving his knighthood to being presented with a lifetime achievement award by his brother Jack during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in 2008.

He has also been photographed alongside successive generations of famous England footballers, including Gareth Southgate and Wayne Rooney.

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