Sir Bobby Charlton: One of the game's greatest players, he was forever a gentleman of English football

Sir Bobby Charlton was as accomplished on the pitch as he was revered off it.

He was there on English football's greatest day - in the only World Cup-winning football team - and one of the darkest days.

Read more:
Sir Bobby Charlton dies

Tributes paid to England and Man Utd football legend

On a Munich runway in 1958, Sir Bobby marked his dedication and duty to Manchester United.

When the team plane caught fire and crashed on a refueling stop, Sir Bobby went through the smoldering wreckage helping his fellow survivors - including manager Matt Busby.

There was guilt at surviving - as 23 died, including eight teammates in a side destined for greatness.

"Manchester United was really just on the brink of going to the moon," Sir Bobby later recalled.

The tragedy gave him a sense of responsibility to the club he joined as a schoolboy - to honour the legacy of the Busby Babes.

Celebrations would return - winning the league twice.

Sir Bobby thrilled in an attacking trinity alongside George Best and Denis Law.

And with two goals against Benfica in the 1968 European Cup final, Sir Bobby helped the team fulfil its grief-stricken destiny from a decade earlier.

It came at Wembley Stadium where he had already achieved greatness with his country two years earlier.

It remains English football's finest hour.

Having scored both World Cup semi-final goals, Sir Bobby sacrificed a star attacking role to nullify West Germany - along with brother Jack.

Lifting the World Cup has yet to be matched by any other England football team.

When his playing career was completed, coaching wasn't Sir Bobby's calling.

But as a United director, he also had the winning touch - persuading the club to appoint Alex Ferguson.

He went on to become Britain's most successful manager, with Sir Bobby an ever-present figure in the stands.

But his diagnosis with dementia was announced in 2020, after he had not been well enough to attend his brother's funeral - with Jack also afflicted by the disease.

In a career defined by dedication, Sir Bobby scored 249 goals in 758 games for Manchester United and 49 in 106 appearances for England.

His goals took England to the summit of world football for the first and only time.

And he led Manchester United to the pinnacle of Europe for the first time - inspiring a rebirth from tragedy.

For decades, no one had scored more times for England and Manchester United than Sir Bobby Charlton.

Forever a gentleman of English football and one of the greatest players to ever play the game.