Who is Man United legend Bobby Charlton?
Bobby Charlton, who was born on 11 October 1937 in Ashington, is an English former professional footballer. Bobby was a member of the Three Lions squad that won the 1966 World Cup, the year Charlton also won the Ballon d’Or.
Bobby played most of his club career at Man United. Born in Northumberland, Bobby played his debut game for the Red Devils first-team in 1956, and over the next two campaigns, gained a regular place in the club, during which time the midfielder survived the Munich air disaster in 1958.
Bobby is the last surviving person of the crash, according to a report. After helping Man United to win the Football League First Division in 1965, Charlton won another First Division trophy with the Red Devils in 1967.
In 1968, Charlton captained the Man United that won the European Cup and also scored two goals in the final. He helped the Red Devils become the first English team to win the tournament.
Bobby was both Man United’s and England’s long-time record goalscorer and the Red Devils’ long-time record appearance maker, as well as briefly England’s until Bobby Moore overtook his 106 games in 1973.
His appearance record of 758 for Man United took until 2008 to be beaten when Ryan Giggs did so in that year’s UEFA Champions League final. With 249 goals, Bobby is currently Man United’s second-highest all-time goalscorer after Wayne Rooney surpassed his record in 2017.
Charlton is also the second-highest goalscorer for the national team, after his record of 49 goals which was held until 2015, was again surpassed by Wayne Rooney.
Bobby Charlton’s international career
In the 1966 World Cup, Three Lions drew the opening match of the competition 0–0 with Uruguay. Bobby scored the first goal in the 2–0 victory over Mexico.
This was followed by an identical scoreline with France, allowing the Three Lions to qualify for the quarter-finals. England defeated Argentina 1–0. The match was the only international game in which Bobby received a caution.
They faced Portugal in the semi-finals. This turned out to be one of Bobby’s most important matches for the national team. Bobby scored two goals against Portugal.
Charlton and Hunt were now the Three Lions’ joint-highest scorers in the competition with three each and a final with West Germany.
The final turned out to be one of Bobby’s quieter days. Charlton and a young Franz Beckenbauer effectively marked each other out of the match. England won 4–2 after extra time.