Sir Bobby Charlton, the Manchester United legend who was a key figure in England’s 1966 World Cup victory, has died at the age of 86.
Charlton won 106 caps for England and scored 49 international goals – records for his country at the time.
During a 17-year first-team career with United he won three league titles, a European Cup and an FA Cup.
Charlton’s family said he “passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning”.
He was hailed as “England’s greatest player” and “an undisputed legend” as tributes flowed.
In November 2020, it was announced Charlton had been diagnosed with dementia.
He died surrounded by his family, who said in a statement they wished 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,” the statement added, as the family said his loss was felt “with great sadness”.
United said Charlton ranked as “one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club”.
“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world,” the club said.
“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.
“His unparalleled record of achievement, character and service will be forever etched in the history of Manchester United and English football and his legacy will live on through the life-changing work of the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.
“The club’s heartfelt sympathies are with his wife Lady Norma, his daughters and grandchildren, and all who loved him.”
Erik ten Hag’s current United team wore black armbands for Saturday evening’s Premier League game at Sheffield United, with home and away supporters applauding in a tribute ahead of kick-off.
Charlton’s death leaves Sir Geoff Hurst – the striker who scored a hat-trick in England’s 4-2 win over West Germany in the 1966 final – as the sole surviving member of the triumphant team.
Hurst posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Very sad news today. One of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away. We will never forget him and nor will all of football. A great colleague and friend, he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone. Condolences to his family and friends.”
Charlton’s older brother Jack, who died in July 2020, and their fellow World Cup winner Nobby Stiles, who passed away in October 2020, had also both been diagnosed with dementia.