Manchester United icon and England legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, has died in the early hours of Saturday at the age of 86.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was surrounded by his family,” the Charlton family said in a statement.
Charlton, who is considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, was a graduate of the United’s academy and went on to make 758 appearances for the club between 1956 and 1973, scoring 249 goals.
He was one of the eight players who survived the February 1958 Munich air disaster that claimed the lives of 23 people, of which eight of them were Manchester United players.
Charlton suffered a minor injury and subsequently went back to play football.
During his time at United, Charlton won the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup. For the England national team, he accumulated 106 caps, scoring 49 goals, and won the 1966 World Cup.
“Manchester United are in mourning following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club,” United said in a statement shortly after the news.
“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,” the club added.