Tributes after Ashington-born England and Man Utd legend Sir Bobby Charlton dies aged 86
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A World Cup winner in 1966, Charlton scored 49 goals in 106 caps for England and won three league titles, a European Cup, and an FA cup for Manchester United during his 17 years at the club.
According to his family the 86-year-old was “surrounded by family” and he “passed peacefully.”
Born in 1937, he grew up in Northumberland, alongside his brother Jack who died in 2020, and played for East Northumberland Schools before joining Manchester United in 1953 and making his debut aged 18 in 1956.
Ashington AFC has announced it will dedicate its home league fixture against Pontefract Collieries on Saturday, October 28 to the memory of Sir Bobby, and is encouraging spectators to wear red to the game and join a minute’s applause before kick off.
Colliers chairman Brian Shotton said: “You do not need to go far in the town to evoke memories of where Bobby and Jack lived and played football. It is here with us every day.
“When you hear the sad news like on Saturday it brings it all back. For the size of the town and what it has produced, not just in football but in other sporting circles as well, it is a tale that is only out of a book really and I do not think you can believe it at times.”
Ashington Town Council has also offered its condolences to Charlton’s friends and family and paid tribute to “one of Ashington's most famous sons.”
In a statement it said: “On behalf of Ashington Town Council and our community we want to express our deepest admiration and gratitude for the incredible contributions Sir Bobby made to football.
“His journey from Ashington to becoming one of the greatest players of all time is inspirational.”
Charlton’s England debut came against Scotland in April 1958, only two months after he survived the Munich air disaster that killed 23 people, including eight of his teammates.
In November 2020 he became the fifth member of the 1966 World Cup winning team to be diagnosed with dementia.
Sir Geoff Hurst is now the only surviving player from the team that won in the final. On social media he said: “Very sad news today. One of the true greats, Sir Bobby Charlton, has passed away.
“We will never forget him, 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.”
Over 28,000 people have signed an online book of condolence set up by Man Utd following Sir Bobby’s death.
His Man Utd teammate Denis Law said: “Sir Bobby was an unbelievable player and a gentleman. Manchester United meant everything to him. We had many special and successful years together and he was a joy to play with.”
England manager Gareth Southgate said: "One of our most iconic players, Sir Bobby Charlton’s impact on our only World Cup triumph is there for all to see.
"The world of football will unite in its sadness at losing an undisputed legend."