and England great has died aged 86, his family have announced in a statement.
Charlton was a key member of and also enjoyed great success at club level with United, who became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968.
A statement on behalf of the Charlton family said: “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 statement added: ‘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.’
Charlton’s European Cup success at United came 10 years after the Munich air disaster, which he and team manager Sir Matt Busby survived but which claimed the lives of eight of Charlton’s team-mates.
Born in Ashington on October 11 1937, Charlton played in the World Cup final alongside his brother Jack, who died aged 85 in 2020, and won 106 caps for England, scoring 49 goals.
He made his debut for United in 1956 and went on to play 758 matches for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals. Both were long-standing club records until they were overtaken by Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney respectively.
Charlton won three league three titles and one FA Cup at Old Trafford and, after leaving United in 1973 and becoming Preston manager, he returned to Old Trafford 11 years later as a club director. He was knighted for services to football in 1994.
‘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,” the Premier League club said in a statement.
‘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.
‘A graduate of our youth Academy, Sir Bobby played 758 games and scored 249 goals during 17 years as a Manchester United player, winning the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup. For England, he won 106 caps and scored 49 goals for England, and won the 1966 World Cup.
‘Following his retirement, he went on to serve the club with distinction as a director for 39 years. 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.’
Charlton was diagnosed with dementia and the announcement of his condition made public in November 2020.
The announcement came two days after his United and England team-mate Nobby Stiles died following his own battle with the illness.
, . , and .